Well here's what i got from Anthony Charlton, Director of StormWater Management for DuPage County.
He said that basically even if Tronox is not ordered by a judge to continue the clean-up, the EPA has their eye on the project and will step in down the road because it's a federal Supersite.
Timeline? There isn't one. When Tronox went under, so did the timeline.
As far as the warrenville Dam being removed, the NOAH Grant they received runs out in 3 years. IF that runs out before dam removal funds could be allocated from elsewhere ( meaning inside other projects ) and redirected to the removal. He asked that if needed he may call on myself to spread the word about an upcoming meeting where it may be beneficial for local anglers to show in support of removal.
There are long range plans for stocking. Their shocking surveys showed a dismal number of baitfish in the entire stretch to be able to support a large gamefish population. There are also plans for stocking gamefish in the future but no date could be given. The vernal pools at Blackwell have already been placed and should aid in reproduction of forage fish species.
So...It'll happen. It just isn't going to happen any time soon and we're left with quite a mess. There are plans to have an independent contractor clean up the Cenacle site when the ground is dry...but judging by the photos you are about to see of Cenacle...that's not gonna be any time soon either.
There ya have it. A booming fishery and a greater ecosystem are promised. Unfortunately mother nature is going to have to wait a few years while Father Time drags this thing thru the court system for God knows how long.
Until then, enjoy the scenery, as i present to you The Upper Stretch of The DuPage River...courtesy of Tronox.
The plan was this.
Meanwhile roads like this have been cut into the forests at several locations. And everything inside sits. Including huge piles of dirt that were destine for a dumping site in Nevada.
And the river in this 2 mile long section??
Miles of chickenwire, anyone?
Stumps. Covered in matting.
Many stumps ( still rich in Thorium) left in place. This one used to be a prime habitata for smallies of all sizes that used it as shade. There was a deep hole under it.
Spots like this were goldmines. Tons of rocks on the shore. 2 huge overhanging willows. Now..spots like this are mud shorelines with absolutely no cover whatsoever. There are many like this.
It seems that certain "finished" areas weren't even touched. I've been fishing these very concrete slabs for years. The water used to be clear enough to see the bottom. It's only 2' deep at the end of those rocks.
A classic spot. It had trees, deep water, everything! There was a higher berm that divided it from that carp infested pond you see in the background. Guess where many of those carp are right now? Notice how the area hasn't been finished and is now a huge mud flat. Previously I would have graded this as one of the best spots on the river. You've seen a couple of our biggest smallies come from here.
A formerly great clear water area.
Lots of this around
More chicken wire.
A formerly nice area. The water was clear. In fact we would pick them off by sight fishing. Trees like this weren't laying around. And all the brush was supposed to be removed as well.
Yet another access road that used to be forest...no longer used.
If anyone needs several thousand linear feet of some sort of blue plastic, I know where to find some.
Areas like this were never cleaned up and are now a mess.
Areas like this were stripped clean of foliage and rock. Left flat with mud. Unfinished. Washing into the river for who knows how long.
Stumps and debris liter the water.
And places like Cenacle have been destroyed.
Thousands and thousands of yards of now-unsecured ground mesh, coming to a neighborhood near you! ( ahem..naperville)
So..those are SOME of the photos I took. There's dozens more but I think the point has been made.
To all the anglers south of here I'd like to say this: Even though it's out of sight, this is YOUR river. This is where your fish come from. This is where the waters start that you wade in. And even though you may never fish it, I urge you to not forget that it's there and needs us to make sure that it gets fixed.
I was told today by a friend of mine to " walk away" from this little issue. Sorry Pal..no can do. This is my back yard. And if it dies...it'll be your back yard too someday.