|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 two lakes in Southwest Pennsylvania next week in order to control vegetation growth.
The drawdowns will occur at High Point Lake, located in Elk Lick Township in southern Somerset County, and at Donegal Lake, located in Donegal Township in Westmoreland County. The drawdowns will begin the first week of October and will continue until March 2013.
“Drawdowns are used to manage aquatic plant growth and fish population,” 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, impacts fishing and has the potential to disrupt the balance of fish populations in a lake.”
High Point will be drawn down by approximately 10 feet and Donegal by about eight feet. The lakes will remain open for fishing during the drawdown period, but 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 used previously at both lakes and have been effective at reducing aquatic plant surface coverage at each lake. The surface growth at High Point was reduced by 91 percent and at Donegal by 43 percent.
The PFBC will examine the aquatic plant levels in the lakes in August 2013 to determine if the drawdowns were successful at reducing the aquatic plants in the lakes.
Rick Lorson, Area Fisheries Manager