On January 9th, 2019 the Wisconsin DNR and Milwaukee County presented their plans for renovating the Kletzsch Park Dam (aka waterfall) at an open house. Linked news on the topic.

Their presentation was made available to the City and is linking here, starting on page 26. Below are some pictures of their plans from the display.

I have some initial thoughts from attending the open house, listed below. There may be more after additional review and hearing more from others.

Initial thoughts/observations:

  1. The height of the current dam and the minimal flow water level upstream will remain unchanged. That is a key for me after what happened with the Estabrook Dam removal.

  2. The overlook will be further back, from the drawings and my rough calculation, about 100 feet. I am going to suggest that a walking trail be added on the North side from the boat take out to the waterfall head to allow the same grandeur of seeing the falls close up as we have today, image below for comparison. It would require a small foot bridge though looks to be feasible. Otherwise, people will likely forage their own trail anyway.

  3. The view from the main overlook will be of both the dam and the brook like fish passage. In a sense a peaceful view of something new and the same view as before from the trail. I added a picture from that distance using rough distance measured in paces.

  4. Great to see the portage and a paved fishing area. It is a long portage though, but better than having none as today.

  5. Unfortunate some parking spaces will be lost. There is parking up the road though. Just enough space will be there to park and load up a canoe or kayak or to park three cars.

  6. The mature trees are a loss. Curious if there is any way to modify the fish passage route to mitigate this.

  7. Nice path and stairs to walk down and enter the water a safe distance from the falls. Same places as forged today by visitors.

  8. Shame this couldn’t have been done at the same time as the road / trail repaving to save the County money.

  9. The cost to repair the needed portions of the dam without the fish passage is about $300k, so the other amenities and fish passage are about $1M.

Feel free to send feedback to karl.stave@milwaukeecountywi.gov with the Milwaukee County Dept. of Administrative Services. Include your name, email address, phone number, and comments. I’m happy to listen as well, though this project is not being done or funded by the City of Glendale. There is limited jurisdiction for the City to get involved so we ask for you to contact the County directly with your feedback.