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?


14 thoughts on “UFO

  1. Interesting – have not seen anything exactly like that one before. Wonder, now, how well it works. Love how you have brought out early spring’s icy promise through the colours too.

  2. Great, that’s the type of story I needed to read to compensate for the Eurozone blues featured on my blog today! When I saw the image, my first association was, ‘This is the remainder of a bonfire.’ Then I figured, ‘Isn’t it strange that you only see ashes in the middle (the stones – these are stones, right?), but the pieces of wood are intact?’ 😉

    • I’m glad I was able add a bit of light to your day. Take a look at the Eurozone post – I left a comment there. Again … great minds think alike … I’m with you on all points. D

  3. What a neat picture! This somehow looks like a strange rune inscribed on shore for us to read before the water covers it back up. So, when I become a professional backpacker and am exploring the reaches of the earth can I employee you as my photographer?

  4. The colors in this image are so saturated! You always manage to capture just the right angle to make an everyday shot extraordinary! Glad they have taken the time to give the fish a habitat!

    • The lake is artificial (dams at both ends) and I suppose the Army Corps never really thought much about fish … they were only concerned with flood control. Once folks began putting their boats out on the lake during the summer … and once they began to put their ice fishing huts out there during the winter … they starting making noises about fish populations. Given that lots of folks around here like to fish – people in high places began to listen. And Voila … artificial fish habitat. Glad you enjoyed the image.

  5. As usual, you managed a nice combination of design and color. You certainly are versatile in your array of subjects and, unlike writers who occasionally suffer from writer’s block, you never seem to have to deal with photographer’s block. Lovely composition and interesting explanation.

  6. That is AWESOME! I’m going to send my son this link – he probably already knows about these structures, but it is the first time I am ever seeing one. How cool! And what a super photograph.

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