|HARRISBURG, Pa. (Aug.6) – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) announced today that it has temporarily lifted all seasons, sizes and creel limits on Tioga County’s Lake Nessmuk as it prepares to rebuild the lake’s dam and spillway next spring.
In preparation for the work, the PFBC will lower the water level by 10 feet beginning Oct. 1. The lake will remain at that level through winter. Beginning March 15, the lake will be drawn down by an additional 10 feet. The lake will remain at 20 feet below full pool until construction is completed late next summer or early fall.
Because the water level will be significantly lower through the summer, PFBC biologists are encouraging anglers to harvest as many fish as they can properly use to reduce the impact of warmer water temperatures on the fish.
“A drawdown of 20 feet will leave approximately 14 feet of water remaining in the lake’s deepest point,” said Dave Miko, chief of the PFBC Division of Fisheries Management. “We’re concerned that during the summer, the higher water temperature and the crowding of fish in the reduced lake size may stress the fish. To lessen that impact, we have chosen to temporarily lift the regulations to reduce the number of fish in the lake. We want anglers to fish the water and make good use of as many fish as they can.”
The temporary regulations take effect immediately and will remain in place until further notice by the PFBC.
The $1 million construction project is expected to begin in March 2014, weather permitting, and be completed by the end of summer or early fall. It includes widening the existing earthen spillway and extending the spillway conduit, installing a new stilling basin at the outlet, and installing new drains at the base of the dam. Also, the top of the dam will be raised by approximately 2.2 feet and the downstream embankment will be flattened.
The lake will remain open to public use until the water level reaches a point where it may be unsafe for anglers. If that happens, the lake will be closed and signs will be posting alerting anglers of the closing.
Located in Tioga County, Lake Nessmuk is a 60-acre impoundment owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and managed by the PFBC for public fishing and boating. The lake is maintained by the Borough of Wellsboro.
Eric Levis, Press Secretary