For Immediate Release
Contact: Dean Druckenmiller, President at 570-617-4390
The Lehigh Coldwater Fishery Alliance Seeks Cold Water for Trout and Increased Recreational Opportunities
In 1961 the Army Corps of Engineers built a dam for flood control on the Lehigh River just above White Haven in Northeastern Pennsylvania. They called it the Francis E. Walter Dam. In 2005 an access road inside the dam and running along the breast was relocated to the top of the dam breast. With this road relocation there is now a tremendous opportunity to enhance the downstream fishery as well as whitewater rafting and boating in the larger lake. The lake level can now be elevated creating the potential for a constant flow and a tremendous coldwater fishery below.
Since the dam is an Army Corps of Engineers, Flood Control Project, a study needs to be conducted by the Corps of Engineers prior to any operational changes with the reservoir. This study requires sponsorship by a non-federal agency. The Lehigh Coldwater Fishery Alliance (LCFA) was created for just that purpose. According to Dean Druckenmiller, President, “The LCFA plans to work with agencies involved and seek the funding needed to conduct a study which investigates different lake elevations and release situations required to support a self-sustaining population of wild trout along with guaranteed whitewater releases. The cold water fishery has the potential to extend downstream 50 miles or more depending on the elevation of the water in the reservoir.” said Dean. “With approximately twenty-five million people living within 100 miles of the river, we have a great opportunity to provide a fantastic recreational experience.”
The outcome of this study will determine the necessary measures required to enhance both the trout fishery and whitewater opportunities on the Lehigh River, as well as improving the overall health and ecology of the river. Of special importance is that these studies will never lose sight of the primary purpose of the Francis E. Walter dam, which is flood control.
In an age when we must make most of our resources, the opportunity exists to develop a multi-purpose recreation destination, improve the quality of life for many, as well as having a tremendous positive economic impact on the entire Lehigh River watershed.
For more information or to contribute to this worthy cause, please log onto the website http://www.thelehighriver.com.
LCFA Mission Statement: Our mission is to obtain a consistent release of cold water (55 degrees) from the Francis E. Walter Reservoir (FEW) through the better utilization of FEW’s storage capacity and discharge options, in an effort to improve overall flows, protect habitat and enhance the Lehigh River’s wild trout fishery.