UFO

I’ve already described our recent walk at Bald Eagle State Park. What I did not mention previously were some very unusual structures which we found along the near shores of the lake there. Before you guess the nature of the UFO you should know that the lake level here varies throughout the year and is controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers. In November there is a draw down to prepare the lake for winter. In February the water is lowered further in anticipation of spring runoff and the need for enhanced flood protection. The dams are then closed and the lake reaches its summer (recreational) level by the end of May. So the emergent structure you see here will be fully submerged during the summer months. Does that help? The structure is one of more than one hundred artificial fish habitats. The recent construction of these was funded by Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the Pennsylvania Parks and Forest Foundation coordinated volunteer efforts in support of this most worthwhile endeavor. Although the lake (created by the damming of Bald Eagle Creek in 1971) comprises more than 1,700 acres, nearly 25 miles of coastline, and an extensive littoral zone, it has very little natural fish habitat. I’m guessing this at least partially results from the annual, and dramatic, changes in lake level. This project provides cover for the fish community which is comprised mostly of Crappie, Perch, Tiger muskellunge, Channel catfish, and Largemouth and Smallmouth bass. By the way … perhaps the UFO of the title could, in this case, stand for Unusually Fishy Object?

UFO2small

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