Otranto Dam

River/Stream: Cedar River

Location: Otranto, Mitchell County
        Latitude: 43.457629
        Longitude: -92.981532
        Click here to view an aerial map of the dam.

Built: 1902

Owner: Mitchell County Conservation

Height: 7 feet

Length: 120 feet

Hazards: typical low head dams hazards

Warning Signs: None

Portage: good portage access on river left, east bank in in Otranto Park at boat ramp. Portage boats 100 yards to Park exit, cross 480th street, proceed 100 yards down gravel road to below dam. West bank of river is private property.

Comments: Downstream and just above the Highway 105 bridge northwest of St. Ansgar are ruins of an old power dam. Paddlers can run through a wide breach on river right.

Notes from Crawdaddy Outdoors: The Acorn Park Dam is actually a broken dam, and experienced paddlers may be able to paddle through by following the river around the dam on the right, then cutting back to the left and shooting through. This is a fast water area, so it is advised to stop on the upriver side and take a look over the top of the broken dam at the water conditions before paddling through. There is little margin for error here. There is a 100-year-old dumpsite in the river just before the point where you would cut back to the left. Normally the metal is underwater, but low water levels bring a lot of it above the surface. This may be the most fun and dangerous part of the river!

Fatalities 1

  • June 14, 1974, Allan Blake, 12, fell in while walking across the dam

Photos by Dave Hillman