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Friday, November 7, 2014

Wildcat Park Dam Removed

Wildcat Park Dam Removed

In October, the McKean County Conservation District, partnering with Wildcat Park, the Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership, PA DEP, and the PA Fish & Boat Commission, removed the dam on Twomile Run in Wildcat Park near Ludlow. 

Funding for the project was provided through grants from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Patagonia.

The dam consisted of wood planks with iron framing and concrete footings and was installed around 1936 to create a “swimming pool” immediately upstream of a covered bridge. The swimming hole had filled in with sediment and according to the park officials had become a maintenance issue and potential liability concern. For the past several years, the iron framing for the dam has acted as a “trap” catching logs, sticks and other debris during high flows and actually causes a nearby pavilion to flood. 

From a fisheries standpoint, the dam created a number of concerns. The dam had a pooling effect, trapping large amounts of sediment which cover the natural streambed, thus diminishing habitat for aquatic insects: the primary food source for trout. During periods of low flow associated with the hot summer months, the pool contributed to undesirable warming and provided little cover for trout and other fish species. Also of concern was the impediment the dam had on migrating native brook trout searching for potential brood waters.

In the spring of 2015, the Conservation District in partnership with the PA Fish & Boat Commission will begin the planning stage where specific in-stream and riparian habitat improvements will be designed, construction contracts developed, and construction started. This phase may possibly include the planning of a handicap accessible fishing site in cooperation with the USDA Allegheny National Forest. 

Anticipated outcomes from the project include improved trout fishery, positive economic impact for the park and local community, increased park visitation, diminished maintenance cost and diminished liability potential.


Anonymous said...

I remember Wildcat park for many South Penn/Pennzoil picnics there they were always great and plenty of fun. We were able to watch the water and swim in there. But that was back in the late 50's and early 60's. Visited that park 5 years ago and wonderful memory's were resurected.

Anonymous said...

Now the people in Galeton need to do the same with the eye sore they have in the middle of their town. Every time I travel through there I always think it is just a shame they try to make a lake in the middle of the town.

Anonymous said...

Eye Sore... A swampy marshland wouldn't be an eye sore? Complain all you want but Galeton is without a doubt the nicest looking town in the county, Fact...