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Safety Issues Prompt Complete Drawdown of Glade Run Lake
June 6, 2011

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is alerting anglers, boaters and the general public that it will completely draw down Butler County’s Glade Run Lake amid new concerns that a partial drawdown will create safety issues for anglers and may lead to a high rate of mortality among remaining fish.

“After examining the overall depth of the lake, we decided a partial drawdown would create too small of a fishing area and would require anglers to walk through a significant amount of muddy and unstable land just to reach fishable waters,” said Leroy Young, director of the PFBC Bureau of Fisheries. “Also, it’s likely that the combination of shallow water and high summer temperatures would lead to high mortality among the remaining fish.”

PFBC biologists started a partial salvage late last week by electrofishing and moving fish to North Park Lake in Allegheny County and Lake Arthur in Butler County. A second salvage will be conducted within the next several weeks as the lake continues to be lowered.

The lake is currently open to anglers, but they should use extra caution when fishing from the shore. Boaters are advised to use other facilities since the lower water level will make it difficult to safely launch a boat.

The PFBC started lowering the water level on May 24 in order to alleviate pressure on the lake’s dam. A routine inspection in mid-May discovered that seepage underneath the dam had caused erosion beneath the ground surface, prompting the decision to draw down the lake due to safety concerns.

The 52-acre lake was built in 1955 and is managed by the PFBC on behalf of the Commonwealth. In 2002, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) declared the lake’s dam unsafe and placed it on its list of “high-hazard” dams. The PFBC estimates that it will cost $4 million to reconstruct the dam’s concrete spillway and reinforce the embankment, but the project is currently unfunded.  

The PFBC manages 16 high-hazard dams on behalf of the Commonwealth, but it does not have the funds to repair all of them. More information about high-hazard dams and the funding needed to rebuild them is available on the PFBC website at:


Eric Levis

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