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Editorial: Boaters and fish gain when dams are removed

9-24-99 JasGorski fishes near Hofmann dam Lyons. His River Rats group is for altering or removing dam allow fish swim

9-24-99 Jason Gorski fishes near the Hofmann dam in Lyons. His River Rats group is for altering or removing the dam to allow fish to swim freely in the river. Carlos Sadovi story....Rich Hein/Sun-Times

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Updated: November 10, 2012 6:14AM

Years ago, numerous dams on the Des Plaines River created crossing points, provided water for pumping and kept the river from drying up in hot weather.

Today, bridges allow crossings; municipal systems provide water, and hard surfaces such as roads and parking lots channel enough water into the river to keep it flowing year round.

But the dams have remained, doing little but impeding fish and boaters and, studies show, degrading the environment.

Until now. The Hofmann Dam near Lyons recently was removed, and last week, conservationists toured other dams upstream to start the process of removing them as well.

Ten years ago, no one thought all the dams would go. Now, thankfully, it looks like that might actually happen.

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