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Fish and Boat Commission to Draw Down Three SW Lakes
September 2, 2010
Harrisburg, PA – Personnel from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) Division of Fisheries Management and the Bureau of Property and Engineering Services will begin drawing down three lakes in Southwest Pennsylvania starting next week.

The three lakes are High Point Lake, located in Elk Lick Township in southern Somerset County; Lake Somerset, located in Somerset Township in central Somerset County; and Virgin Run Dam, located in Perry and Franklin Townships in north central Fayette County.

The PFBC will begin drawing down the lakes the week of Sept. 7 and will continue until about March 1, 2011.

“The purpose of the drawdowns is for fish population management and aquatic plant management,” said Area Fisheries Manager Rick Lorson. “Aquatic plants provide very good habitat for both young and adult fish. However too much vegetation, defined coarsely by the PFBC as surface area coverage exceeding 30 percent of a lake, impact fishing and have potential to disrupt the balance of fish populations in a lake.”

All three lakes will be open for fishing during the drawdown period.  Anglers fishing from the shore should be prepared for muddy conditions. Boating will be limited to light craft, carry-in boats.  Trailer-boat access will be very limited during the drawdown period.

Drawdowns have been previously used at all three lakes and have been effective at reducing aquatic plant surface coverage at each lake. Average reductions in aquatic plant surface coverage were 94 percent, 71 percent and 25 percent at High Point Lake, Lake Somerset, and Virgin Run Dam, respectively. The PFBC will examine the aquatic plant levels in the lakes in August 2011 to determine if the drawdowns were successful at reducing the aquatic plants in the lakes.

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


PFBC – Rick Lorson

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