Environmental Protection

Opossum Lake to be Reopened to the Public

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission announced that the popular lake in Cumberland County is expected to be refilled and reopened to the public in 2013. The lake was drained in 2008 to rebuild the spillway at the facility’s dam.

Last week, officials from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) stated that the Opossum Lake could start being refilled, which will take five to seven months to complete. The lake spans 59 acres near Carlisle and was drained in 2008 by the PFBC after inspections discovered that the dam’s spillway was cracked and leaking. Officials expect the lake to be reopened to the public in time for the 2013 regional opening day of trout.

“This is great news for all the anglers, boaters, and outdoor enthusiasts who use the lake,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “It takes a lot of time, money and cooperation to rebuild a dam. We couldn’t have done this without the help of Sen. Pat Vance (R-Cumberland), the Friends of Opossum Lake Conservancy (FOLC), local and county officials and DEP.”

DEP’s Division of Dam Safety oversees all dams in the state and is responsible for making sure they meet current safety standards. The PFBC rebuilt the dam’s spillway over a two-year period from May 2010 to February 2012 using a combination of local and state funds, including $1.5 million secured by Sen. Vance from the state’s capital budget.

The process of refilling a lake involves continuous monitoring and takes approximately five to seven months to complete, depending on precipitation. The earthen dam needs time to properly and safely absorb the water. PFBC engineers will raise the water level two feet per week and will inspect and monitor the dam until the lake is completely filled.

For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit www.fishandboat.com.

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