Important Documents and Information

If you read these documents, you’ll agree that they represent an enormous amount of thought, effort, research, and dedication on the part of Friends of the Kinni volunteers and our partner stakeholders.  Thank you! 

Kinnickinnic River Corridor Planning Process:

The Kinnickinnic River Corridor Planning Process has been initiated by the City of River Falls! In their timeline, a decision is slated for the FALL of 2017 of whether to restore the Kinnickinnic River through dam removal or to maintain the hydroelectric facility and the dams.
The City of River Falls hired Inter-Fluve to conduct the Lake George and Lake Louise Sediment Assessment which they completed in March of 2016. Their final report shows that there is NOT TOXIC LEVELS of contaminants in the sediment of either impoundment. The sediment in the impoundments will have to be managed in the future in either a dam removal or a dam maintenance scenario, either way we will have to deal with the sediment, and now we know the sediment is not toxic and can be effectively managed. 

Wisconsin DNR:

The Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI): Coldwater Fish and Fisheries Reportutilized temperature data from the Kinnickinnic River collected by the Kiap-TU-Wish Chapter of Trout Unlimited to develop its conclusions regarding coldwater fish habitat conditions in the future following the impacts of climate change. They conclude that a major method for preserving coldwater fisheries should be through stream restoration and mitigation of outside sources of thermal pollution.

The WICCI: Coldwater Fish and Fisheries Report, with data from the Kinnickinnic River, contributed directly to the WICCI: Wisconsin’s Changing Climate: Impacts and Adaptation Report.

This document is a memo from the DNR that says that the discharge limits for the River Falls waste water treatment facility will use the cold water resource standards, not the warm water standards (see page 3, highlighted in the PDF). This is important, the DNR tells us, because it means that the City can discharge our treated waste water directly into the Kinni, even if Lake Louise did not exist. The City can operate our waste water treatment plant with its existing permit, and dam removal would not require permit amendments.

River Alliance of Wisconsin and American Rivers:

Useful documents from the River Alliance of Wisconsin and American Rivers. 50 dams have been removed in Wisconsin since 1990, including two dams removed from the nearby Willow River in St. Croix County.Willow River Dams Removed — a summary of the costs and benefits of removing two dams on the Willow River.

Dam Removal Success Stories — from around the US.

Thermal Research:

Thermal Study by US Army Corps of Engineers of Kinnickinnic River at River Falls, October 2003

Summary of Thermal and Hydrological Impacts of Kinnickinnic River Hydropower Impoundments

by Kiap-TU-Wish Chapter of Trout Unlimited, 2014.

Priority Watershed Plan:

The Plan to control non-point source water pollution (like storm water runoff) in the Kinni Watershed. The Lake George Recovery Plan (see above) provides important new space for infiltration / retention of some downtown storm water.

City of River Falls & Utility Department:

Pre-Application Document — The City’s application for renewal of their dam license from FERC. Lots of background information about the dams, their operation, recreation, construction, and much more.

The City’s two sediment testing reports from 1989 and 1990  and, related to the sediment subject:

NRCS / EPA limits for the maximum heavy metals allowed in sludge that can be surface-applied to farm fields.

Letter from River Falls to FERC concerning the $2 million bluff stabilization that was ordered by FERC in 2004. This correspondence is public, on the FERC eLibrary website search page.  Simply search for all types of documents between January and May 2010, using the Docket # P-10489.   The letter of March 29, 2010 is marked public and you can view a .pdf of it by clicking on the link provided in the results.

Lake George Recovery Plan — This is the plan that the City adopted to restore Lake George and the Kinni.

Geese on Lake George, by Don Richards.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC):

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licenses the two dams on the Kinni. We will be posting documents about “Project P-10489” — the ‘docket’ for Junction Falls and Powell Falls dams.

About our local dams:

 Name of Dam  Junction Falls (River Falls, WI)
 Powell Falls 
(River Falls, WI)
 Willow Falls
(Burkhardt, WI)
 Mounds Dam
(Burkhardt, WI)
 River System  Kinnickinnic  Kinnickinnic  Willow  Willow
 Impoundment  Lake George  Lake Louise
 Acres  16  15  100  57
 Height  32′  22′  60′  58′
 Length  114′  110′  160′  430′
 Year Built  1867/1920/1990  1893/1966  1924  1926
 Hydro capacity (kwh)
 Ave River Flow (cfs)  95  95  90  90
 Ave Temp Above  61°
 Ave Temp Below  66°
 Max Temperature  80°+  80°+
 # days > 66° (2012)  9  39
 Staff Requirements  1 visit per day  1 visit per week
 Repair Costs (recent past)
 Repair Costs (future)
 Wastewater Discharge (cfs)  ~ 1.2 cfs
 Year Removed  still standing  still standing  1992  1998
 Cost to Remove  TBD  TBD  $450,000  $170,000

Information in this chart is from:

  • City of River Falls
  • River Falls Utility Dept
  • KiAp-TU Wish
  • Wis DNR
  • American Rivers
  • Wisconsin River Alliance
  • FERC
River Flow
The US Geological Survey operates a flow gage station on the Kinni just upstream from Country Rd F. Streamflow data is available here:
The “gage height” chart on that page is in feet and decimal feet.  So, for example, between March 11 and March 18, 2014 the Kinni varied in height by less than 2 inches ( (it varied from 10.42 to 10.54 feet — and that is about a 1- 1/2″ difference). Each horizontal gray line in the graph below equals about 1/2″ of river height.