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Fish and Boat Commission Cautions Kahle Lake Boaters
April 12, 2010

Update – June 2014

Currently the lake is drown down six-feet but the actual level may fluctuate slightly based on rainfall. Kahle Lake Dam is in need of repair but is not currently under design because of the fact that it is low hazard and therefore lower on the priority list when it comes to available funding. The entire concrete spillway structure is deficient and needs to be replaced; spillway capacity and seepage will also need to be addressed. Cost for the design and construction of the rehabilitation project will be in excess of $4 million.

Kahle Lake Dam is a Class B, Category 3 dam. Although it's not considered high hazard by DEP, it is a large dam that retains a significant amount of water. PFBC engineers will continue to inspect the dam regularly and monitor the conditions. Until we see a need to make a further change, we plan hold the present water elevation.

Our Fisheries Manager for that area reports the ramp on the north side of the lake is deeper and PFBC has been able to launch our larger john and semi V boats off it rather easily. Really large bass boats might have some problem.

Meadville, PA – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is reminding boaters that the water level at Kahle Lake in Clarion and Venango counties is currently six feet below normal pool level following a winter drawdown and that they should use extra caution when launching their boats.

The PFBC is expected to maintain the lake at the current water level while the agency’s engineering staff makes plans to fix deficiencies with the dam’s spillway discovered during a July 2009 inspection. “Boaters can still use the launching facilities while this repair process goes through the stages of completion,” said Daniel Leonard, director of the PFBC Bureau of Engineering and Property Services. “However, boaters should exercise patience and extra precautions to safely launch and retrieve their boats.”

The PFBC has established a preliminary estimate of repairs at $500,000. While the timeline for completing the repairs depends on acquiring funding, the dam is tentatively scheduled to be repaired by summer 2012.

In the past, routine winter drawdowns have been successful at reducing aquatic vegetation congestion in the lake by exposing shallow areas to drying and the freezing temperatures of winter. This management practice kills the plants, which can impact fishing conditions and some fish species. Normal pool level is usually reestablished in the spring, but with the recent discovery of repairs needed, boaters and anglers are asked to be patient so this excellent fishery can be maintained well into the future.

Kahle Lake is a 251-acre, PFBC-owned impoundment located on the border of Clarion and Venango counties near Emlenton. It is managed to allow fishing opportunities for largemouth bass, bluegill, yellow perch, black crappies, walleye and brown bullhead.

For specific information about Kahle Lake or other lakes in the area, contact Area Fisheries Manager Allen Woomer at 814-755-3890 or

The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities. For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at


Keith Edwards

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