|HARRISBURG, Pa. (Aug. 20) –The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) announced today that it has finished repairing the spillway at Northampton County’s Minsi Lake and has started to refill the lake to its normal level.
“The water level will be raised by approximately one foot per week in order to monitor the repairs,” said PFBC Press Secretary Eric Levis. “We expect the lake to be at its full pool by the beginning of September.”
The lake was lowered by approximately three feet in April in order to make repairs to the spillway of the dam. The PFBC replaced several small concrete patches and sealed the concrete joints and several cracks on the surface of the dam’s concrete spillway. The work was initially expected to be completed in June, but was delayed due to scheduling conflicts with other projects.
The Minsi Lake 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.
“Minsi is not experiencing the problems we’re facing at some other high-hazard, unsafe dams, such as water seeping through the dam, or tunneling under the spillway,” Levis added. “Nonetheless, the spillway does not meet current engineering safety standards and ultimately must be rebuilt.”
The PFBC estimates it needs $59.3 million to fix or rebuild 10 dams, including $3.1 million to rebuild the spillway at Minsi. At this time, all of the projects remain unfunded.
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