Aug. 27, 2014
Harrisburg – A gradual, complete drawdown of the 245-acre lake at Ricketts Glen
State Park in Northeastern Pennsylvania will be required to permit replacement
of a deteriorating dam control tower, Department of Conservation and Natural
Resources officials announced today.
the drawdown may inconvenience some anglers and boaters, but the integrity of
the dam and safety of our park visitors is paramount,” said Bureau of State
Parks Director David Kemmerer. “The dam control tower must be replaced and that
construction work requires excavation of a portion of the dam embankment.
Maintaining even a limited pool could compromise the dam during heavy rain,
thus the need for complete drawdown.”
project is part of Enhance Penn’s Woods -- a
two-year, more than $200 million initiative launched by Governor Tom Corbett to
repair and improve Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests.
1950, the 26-foot-high dam is reliant on a concrete control tower that
discharges through its base while regulating the pool level of Lake Jean, a
focal point of the 13,050-acre state park spreading into four counties. Beset
by leakage and deterioration, the entire tower system must be replaced.
is to start this project in spring 2015, with drawdown beginning after ice-out
on the lake,” Kemmerer said. “Though dependent on review and bidding processes,
construction should last about one year.”
is estimated to cost about $800,000 allocated from the Growing Greener bond
director stressed construction only would affect certain recreation
opportunities involving the lake. The park campground, cabins and trails all
will remain open.
harvest or salvage fish populations, along with management
of the lake’s fishery before, during and after project, will be coordinated
with the Pa. Fish and Boat Commission.
chosen to temporarily lift the regulations in order to reduce the number of
fish in the lake in anticipation of a fish salvage prior to a complete drawdown
of the lake,” said Dave Miko, chief of the commission’s Division of Fisheries
Management. “We want anglers to fish the water and make good use of as many
fish as they can.”
temporary regulations take effect immediately and will remain in place until
further notice by the Fish and Boat Commission. The commission expects to
conduct a fish salvage at the lake in late fall.
and flyers are notifying park anglers of these changes, which will remain in
effect until the lake is fully drained. Meanwhile, the Bureau of State Parks
and Fish and Boat Commission are addressing how to best salvage and transport remaining
low pH levels traced to acid deposition and infertile underlying geology, the
lake has received biannual lime applications in joint efforts by the bureau and
commission to improve its water quality and fish community. The drawdown will
facilitate bureau study of other possible future lakebed improvements.
each year with trout by the commission, Lake Jean also contains a variety of
warm-water species according to a commission survey in late May and early June,
2007. Electro-fishing and trap net samples showed populations of brook and
brown trout, along with largemouth bass, crappies, bluegills, pickerel, sunfish
and other species.
With acreage in Luzerne, Sullivan, Wyoming and Columbia counties,
Ricketts Glen parklands envelop Glens Natural Area, a National Natural Landmark
recognized for wild, free-flowing waterfalls cascading through rock-strewn
clefts and surrounded by old-growth timber. The Falls Trail enables park
visitors to glimpse the 22 named waterfalls, the highest being the 94-foot
For more details on Ricketts Glen and Pennsylvania’s other 119
state parks, visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us
(Select “Find a Park”).
Media contact: Terry Brady, 717-772-9101.