ASHLAND — When you think about dams in and around Ashland County, the first things to pop to mind may be Pleasant Hill, Charles Mill, Mohicanville or even Cinnamon Lake.

But while these large dams are definitely important, proper maintenance of upkeep of smaller, privately owned dams throughout the county is also an important, if often overlooked task. 

You may not think about it, but thousands of dams are used across the state to establish not only lakes and reservoirs but also to create private ponds, too. You may not spend much time thinking about the dam that makes your backyard fishing possible, but as a pond owner, you should plan to perform regular inspection and maintenance of your dam. 

And Ashland Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is here to help with their September 14 Conservation Chat: Dam It! This free event will take place at 6 p.m. at Artesian Lake and will include speakers from the Ohio Department of Natural Resource’s Dam Safety division as well as Keith Libben from the Ohio Department of Agriculture who will share best management practices for pond construction and maintenance.

One key to proper dam maintenance is regular inspections. Walk your dam and inspect the slopes, control structure and spillway at least twice a year and after heavy storm events. Taking action on small, necessary repairs can prevent dangerous and expensive dam failure.

Regular maintenance includes deterring nuisance aquatic plants along your shorelines and spillways, removing small moody growth, and maintaining a good grass cover on your slopes.

Attendance at the chat is free, but reservations are encouraged by calling 419-281-7645 or registering online at