|HARRISBURG, Pa. (May 7) –The water level at Northampton County’s Minsi Lake has been temporarily lowered as the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) prepares to make repairs to the lake’s spillway this summer.
“The lake was lowered by approximately 2-3 feet last month,” said PFBC Press Secretary Eric Levis, “We plan to replace several small concrete patches and seal the concrete joints and several cracks on the surface of the dam’s concrete spillway. That work is expected to take approximately one week and is tentatively scheduled to be completed in June. Once the repair work is finished, the lake will be returned to its normal water level.”
The dam is classified by the state Department of Environmental Protection as a high-hazard, unsafe dam because the spillway is not large enough under current regulations. The dam met regulations when it was originally built. High-hazard, unsafe dams have deficiencies of such a nature that if not corrected and the dams were to fail, substantial property damage and a probable loss of human life could occur.
“Minsi is not experiencing the problems we’re facing at some other high-hazard, unsafe dams, such as water seepage through the dam, or tunneling under the spillway,” Levis added. “Nonetheless, the spillway does not meet current engineering safety standards and must be ultimately rebuilt.”
The PFBC manages 12 dams that were, or currently are, considered as high-hazard and unsafe. Minsi Lake is one of six dams which remain unfunded. The PFBC estimates it needs $43.1 in construction funding to fix the six dams, including $3.1 million to rebuild the spillway at Minsi.
The 117-acre impoundment is located within the county's Minsi Lake Wilderness Area, a 300-acre county park reserve with hiking trails, wilderness and wetlands. The lake holds bass, white perch, trout and walleye. Boating is limited to boats powered by electric motors and un-powered boats. There are two access points and associated parking facilities. Both access points have a surfaced launch ramp.
Eric Levis, Press Secretary