The Lake Julia construction and dredging project is now complete. The Lake has filled back up and many of the fish have been replaced. Below you will read about the project and why it was done:
It was mandated by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that Buhl Park replace the outflow structures in Lake Julia. The lake had to be lowered in order to do that work. While the lake was drawn down, the Board of Directors decided to dredge the lake to remove the muck and silt on the lake bed which has accumulated over the past 100 years. These sediments have an adverse affect on water quality and fish habitat.
The Department of Environmental Protection, the Army Corp of Engineers and the Fish and Boat COmmission all had to approve the lowering of the lake and or the removal of sediment by issuing permits to do the project. We are currently awaiting one of the permits.
Will the fish be replaced after construction?
Once the dredging project is completed, the Fish and Boat Commission will place the fish habitat on the lake bed that will include:
- Porcupine Crib Junior Structures
- Post Cluster Structures
- Spider Hump Structures
- Turtle Basking Platforms
- Black Bass Nesting Structures
- Post Stump Structure
- Rock Star Structures
- Rock Rubble Humps
Additionally, a handicapped accessible fishing pier will be established with wheelchair accessibility. Once Lake Julia has been returned to normal water level, the Fish and Boat Commission will stock the lake with a variety of fish species including Crappie, Large Mouth Bass, Bluegill, and Channel Catfish. Within a short period of time, the lake will once again provide excellent fishing opportunities for young and old alike.
Dredging: What is it and why does the Lake need it?
Dredging is the removal of accumulated lake bottom sediments (muck and silt) which have an adverse affect on water quality of the lake. Where does the sediment come from:
- Watershed – the lake has accumulated sediment for the pass 100+ years.
- Eroding shorelines – a contributing factor over the years but has been alleviated through the shoreline stabilization work in recent years.
What is the purpose of the dredging project?
To restore and improve recreational access, improve fishing, habitat improvement, and regain water capacity of Lake Julia. Water quality will be improved by the reduction of the amount of nutrients available from the sediment. Depending on the depth of the Lake after dredging, some thermal stratification may result which would limit nutrient involvement in the deeper areas and may also limit the sunlight in the areas. This process of dredging will create excess soil materials that will then be removed from the lake and be available for future soil improvement projects in the park.
Wetlands: Why do fish need them?
In 2002, Buhl Farm Park was awarded a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to develop a wetland which could offer an invaluable environment for educational study. The adjacent .9 mile fitness trail which encircles the wetlands, offers an excellent opportunity for residents to appreciate the beauty of our natural wetland and to learn about the vegetation and wildlife from the interpretive signs.
A wetland is an area of land that has water-loving plants and has undrained wet soils saturated with or covered by shallow water sometime during the year.
Wetland and fish go together like a worm on a hook. Wetlands have been around for over 10,000 years.
Wetlands have bad reputations but without them our waters would be polluted. They give fish oxygen to breath, food to eat, and clean water to live in.
Habitat Management: Why do fish need this?
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission recognizes the need for riparian and aquatic improvements and restoration in an along the waters of Pennsylvania and the desire of price and public organizations to participate in such projects.
The Commission provides technical assistance in planning, supervision of construction and a limited amount of financial assistance for materials to be used for the project.
Fishing: Great Fishing Habitats!
Pennsylvania is home to some great fishing opportunities. These are the result of diverse resources and the quality of those resources. When the habitat is great and aquatic communities are healthy, you will get great fishing results.
The Fish and Boat Commission and partners are working to make great fishing opportunities by providing great habitat. Habitat improvement projects focus on many components of physical habitat. Each year the Commission is involved in about 700 habitat improvement projects. The goal of all these projects is to provide a better place for fish of all sizes, shapes and ages to live a long and healthy life.