Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Valley of Death

Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
Meadow Grounds Lake Drained!
View of the former Meadow Grounds Lake taken from near the top of the outlet.
The PFBC finished draining the Meadow Grounds Lake Wednesday June 12th.
While the PFBC reportedly did live trap and transfer a number of truck loads of fish, the carnage that remained was considerable.

View from the top of the dam

While the draining of the lake may have been necessary to correct the deficiencies in the dam breast wall the agency certainly has not made the case nor do the dam inspection reports show the necessity of such drastic action.   The PFBC's shroud of secrecy in making the decision, the failure to announce the decision until only days before the draining began, the failure on multiple occasions to keep local officials advised of developments concerning the lake, and the brushing aside of citizens comments at the one public meeting held three weeks after the draining began, illustrates that either the PFBC is inept at handling public relations or more likely has forgotten who pays their salaries, who gives them their gold plated healthcare, and their pensions that far exceeds anything available in private industry short of what CEO's receive. 

Dead fish near the dam

As I stepped from my car after parking near the dam the odor of rotting fish filled the air.  These photos were taken in the former lake bed.

Dead fish litters the former lakebed

A large walleye lies in the sediment where it died as the lake drained away
Pool of rotting fish

Below the dam was no better.  This photo was taken in the area where PFBC personnel were capturing fish as the last of the lake drained away.

Farther down stream below their trapping location Roaring Run was littered with the carcasses of dead fish.

While many fish were trucked away, and as you can see many more lie where they have died, even more were recovered and hauled away to the pit constructed nearby.  While I do not have any photos of the thousands of fish discarded in the pit you can see them by visiting Friends of the Meadow Grounds on Facebook.

Friends of the Meadow Grounds Lake first public event

The bright note of the day was visiting with members of the new organization, Friends of the Meadow Grounds Lake as they held their first public event in McConnellsburg.  While the PFBC has now completed flushing 50 years of aquatic life down the drain the Friends are committed to doing whatever it takes to bring it back to life.

Visit the Friends website for the latest information.


Anonymous said...

What an awful sight.

Montanagirl said...

That's awful.

Elaine said...

Very sad. I hope your new group is successful!

Lindsjö taxar said...

It looks horrible, very sad ...i am chocked