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Safety Issues Prompt Drawdown of Colyer Lake

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) announced today that deficiencies in the dam at Centre County’s Colyer Lake have prompted the agency to initiate plans to completely drain the reservoir until the dam can be rehabilitated to meet current engineering and safety standards.

“Commission engineers and the state Department of Environmental Protection routinely inspect the dam, and during a recent inspection in December we found that the existing undermining beneath the dam’s spillway has become more severe,” said Andy Shiels, PFBC Deputy Director for Field Operations. “The condition of the spillway’s structural integrity necessitates that a complete drawdown of the lake be performed so that further testing and analyses can be conducted.”

“We recognize that Colyer Lake is a popular fishing and boating location,” he added. “However, concerns for the safety of the downstream residents and businesses necessitate this drawdown.”

The drawdown is expected to begin next week and may take up to three months to complete. The lake will be drained at a rate of about two feet per week, depending on weather.

PFBC biologists are currently developing a fish salvage plan to remove and relocate as many fish as possible. The fish salvage is expected to begin by the end of March.

The lake will be drawn down indefinitely until funding can be identified and secured to make the necessary repairs.

The lake will remain open to public use until the water level reaches a point where it may be unsafe for anglers. At that point the lake will be closed and signs will be posting alerting anglers of the closing.

Colyer Lake is a 77-acre reservoir located in Potter Township in Centre County. It is owned by the Commonwealth and managed by the PFBC. It has been partially drawn down by approximately 10 feet since 2003.