We document the detailed morphology and bed sediment size distribution of a stream channel upstream and downstream of a 200-year-old run-of-river dam on the Red Clay Creek, a fifth order stream in the Piedmont of northern Delaware, and combine these data with HEC-RAS modeling and bedload transport computations. We hypothesize that coarse bed material can be carried through run-of-river impoundments before they completely fill with sediment, and we explore mechanisms to facilitate this transport. Only 25% of the accommodation space in our study site is filled with sediment, and maximum water depths are approximately equal to the dam height. All grain-size fractions present upstream of the impoundment are also present throughout the impoundment. A characteristic coarse-grained sloping ramp leads from the floor of the impoundment to the crest of the dam. A 2.3-m-deep plunge pool has been excavated below the dam, followed immediately downstream by a mid-channel bar composed of coarse bed material similar in size distribution to the bed material of the impoundment. The mid-channel bar stores 1472 m3 of sediment, exceeding the volume excavated from the plunge pool by a factor of 2.8.These field observations are typical of five other sites nearby and suggest that all bed material grain-size fractions supplied from upstream can be transported through the impoundment, up the sloping ramp, and over the top of the dam. Sediment transport computations suggest that all grain sizes are in transport upstream and within the impoundment at all discharges with return periods from 1 to 50 years. Our computations suggest that transport of coarse bed material through the impoundment is facilitated by its smooth, sandy bed. Model results suggest that the impoundment is currently aggrading at 0.26 m/year, but bed elevations may be recovering after recent scour from a series of large floods during water year 2011-2012. We propose that impoundments upstream of these run-of-river dams behave as long pools that adjust their bed elevation and texture to transport the load supplied by the watershed, rather than as impounded reservoirs with little bed material transport capacity. Scour may only occur during episodic high flows, followed by aggradation during periods of low flow.