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Bald Eagle Creek/Sayers Dam

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2006/9/23 0:52
From Williamsport, PA
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Anyone aware of what's going on with Bald Eagle Creek from Sayers Dam down?

http://www.lockhaven.com/news/local-n ... -sayers-dam-water-levels/

Just wondering if anyone has more insight as to what they are actually trying to do and how lowering the dam during the summer is going to help in their goals. I hear they want to somehow make below the dam down to Beech Creek somehow trout water. It would be different if it was a cold water bottom release dam. I know there is the occasional very large trout caught (and only large trout zero small ones) out of there but I just don't quite see this working.

Posted on: 9/1 9:18


Re: Bald Eagle Creek/Sayers Dam

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My take on it, is that they are proposing to have a more consistent flow during the summer to keep more sustained flows downstream during droughty conditions. Although Bald Eagle Creek may not "look" like trout water PFBC surveys speak otherwise. Also, I was fishing below Tractor Supply in July and the water temp was 65 on a 80 degree evening. Granted I was below fishing creek, but that says something imo. The study on sayers will be interesting to keep an eye on for sure!

Posted on: 9/1 13:06


Re: Bald Eagle Creek/Sayers Dam

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Quote:

lycoflyfisher wrote:
My take on it, is that they are proposing to have a more consistent flow during the summer to keep more sustained flows downstream during droughty conditions. Although Bald Eagle Creek may not "look" like trout water PFBC surveys speak otherwise. Also, I was fishing below Tractor Supply in July and the water temp was 65 on a 80 degree evening. Granted I was below fishing creek, but that says something imo. The study on sayers will be interesting to keep an eye on for sure!


Those water temps in that section of Bald Eagle are all thanks to Fishing Creek! Keep quite and don't tell people! lol! You really want to do a study on water temps in Bald Eagle go to where Fishing Creek dumps in. You can have one foot in freezing cold water and the other in warm bathwater.

Also if they wanted to test it for continuous flow they should have just done it this summer. It was often on the high muddy side most of the summer thanks to all the rain.

Posted on: 9/1 14:33


Re: Bald Eagle Creek/Sayers Dam

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There is a USGS gauge on BEC just below Milesburg, so below the inflow of Spring Creek. The average flow here around this time of year is about 160 to 170 cfs. Because of the exceptionally good baseflow of Spring Creek it rarely if ever goes below 120 cfs, and almost certainly never goes under 100 cfs.

And there are several tribs between Milesburg and the lake and tribs that flow into the lake, which add even more water.

So the amount of the water flowing into the lake even at typical summer low flow is probably something over 160 to 170 cfs. And even in drought it probably rarely if ever goes below about 120 cfs.

But the flows released from the dam sometimes go very low. Sometimes down to around 30 cfs. And sometimes to around 15 cfs. And I've seen it even at .79 cfs, which means that they've shut off the gates completely, because under 1 cfs means that the flow is just seepage water (you can see seepage below the dam) and groundwater.

And at the meeting they even mentioned that they have a target of around 120 cfs as a conservation flow, but said that is not a rule, and that sometimes they have "gate closure."

Bald Eagle Cr at that point is a large, stream with a wide channel that drains quite a large watershed. Before the dam was there, the flow at that point would never have gone below about 120 cfs. And now sometimes it's 30 cfs or even 15 cfs or even .79 cfs (the lowest I've noticed on the USGS site.)

Why this is done, I don't know. It's amazing to me that this is even legal, that the DEP and EPA allow it.

It can't be good for fish and other aquatic life to take a stream that has a natural drought baseflow of about 120 cfs and turn off the tap so that the flow is so extremely low.

And looking at the Blanchard gauge info you see that often the flows are bouncing up and down. Very low, then going up much higher in a short period of time, sometimes within 24 hours.

I see no reason why they couldn't have a conservation flow of 120 cfs. That would not require lake lowering, which is what people are so afraid of. Because there is always at least 120 cfs flowing into the lake.

I sent them an email on this suggestion when the proposed study was first announced. And also wrote it on the suggestion cards they had at the meeting.

They are looking for public commentary. Most of the commentary at the meeting was regarding fears of lowering of the lake level, and that hurting recreation.

Any commentary sent by those interested in the health of streams and rivers (Bald Eagle Cr, West Branch Susquehanna, Susquehanna) would be helpful.



Posted on: 9/1 15:57


Re: Bald Eagle Creek/Sayers Dam

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This seems to have to do with maintaining better seasonal flows in Bald Eagle Ck below the dam and not necessarily colder flows.

Posted on: 9/2 12:33


Re: Bald Eagle Creek/Sayers Dam

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So if there is a continuous flow height below the dam what species of fish are they trying to make a better environment for? Trout doesn't seem practical. Do they think it will benefit bass and walleye? The few musky below the dam? I guess it's maybe worth a try to see what does happen but I am not expecting much.

Posted on: 9/2 19:35


Re: Bald Eagle Creek/Sayers Dam

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I'm amazed at the sudden concern for lower bald eagle creek.

Posted on: 9/6 12:23
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Re: Bald Eagle Creek/Sayers Dam

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Quote:

Hook_Jaw wrote:

I'm amazed at the sudden concern for lower bald eagle creek.


Me too! I would like to know who's idea this was and how it all of a sudden got started. I mean I'm all for stream restoration and improvements BUT personally I feel there are so so so many other places that need help way before lower Bald Eagle Creek. I'm sorry but Bald Eagle from the dam down is really a smallmouth, catfish, carp, panfish fishery. Below the dam was always kind of a secret when it came to large trout. Just to let everyone know the trout are really limited to right below the dam and 2 other small portions of lower Bald Eagle. How the one section got labeled a class A is way beyond me. It must not take much to get labeled. Someone is lying somewhere after watching that video of the Wild Trout Summit for what it takes to have a class A stream.

Posted on: 9/7 9:03


Re: Bald Eagle Creek/Sayers Dam

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It's rugged, swift, deep, and hard to wade you could drown real easy in lower bald eagle if you mess around trying to wade where you shouldn't. Yeah its bass, perch, carp, whitefish, suckers water. Not many trout in that water anymore these days, not saying there's not trout but like John said is limited.

Posted on: 9/11 10:34
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Re: Bald Eagle Creek/Sayers Dam

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I'm thinking this is being driven by recreational boaters more than fishermen.


Posted on: 9/12 16:43


Re: Bald Eagle Creek/Sayers Dam

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Are there any good arguments in favor of keeping the very low flows I described?

Are there any benefits of that?

And what possible harms would there be in changing the flow regime to eliminate those extreme low flow periods?

The simple reason to do that is that aquatic life requires water. All species of fish, aquatic inverts etc.

Turning off the tap in such an extreme way is harmful to a stream's aquatic life.

Posted on: 9/12 19:45


Re: Bald Eagle Creek/Sayers Dam

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Quote:

franklin wrote:
I'm thinking this is being driven by recreational boaters more than fishermen.



Exact opposite! Recreational boaters are very upset that they want the dam to be at a lower level all summer long. I want to know the people in favor of this project...I'm all for wild trout waters but this plan seems far fetched and not practical.

Posted on: 9/13 8:37


Re: Bald Eagle Creek/Sayers Dam

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Quote:

troutbert wrote:
Are there any good arguments in favor of keeping the very low flows I described?

Are there any benefits of that?

And what possible harms would there be in changing the flow regime to eliminate those extreme low flow periods?

The simple reason to do that is that aquatic life requires water. All species of fish, aquatic inverts etc.

Turning off the tap in such an extreme way is harmful to a stream's aquatic life.


They should have just done the study this year. Bald Eagle below the dam for almost the entire summer was higher than normal. The rain we had kept lower Bald Eagle much higher and at a more consistent flow. They were always releasing water from the dam.

Even if they do have a plan to make this trout water and it works for a year or two then say we get one of these hurricanes to come up the coast and dump a ton of rain on us. It happens every couple of years. The main priority of that dam is to prevent flooding. That's why fishing conditions in the dam aren't that great. They end up shutting off the flow of the dam due to flooding down stream. What I would presume would be the main area they want to hold trout the area below the dam down to maybe Marsh Creek would end up looking like drought conditions killing majority of the trout.

From a recreational/money making side of things the water above the dam is more beneficial then turning that water below into trout habitat. Its not even close picking between the 2.

Posted on: 9/13 9:13


Re: Bald Eagle Creek/Sayers Dam

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Quote:

bigjohn58 wrote:
Quote:

franklin wrote:
I'm thinking this is being driven by recreational boaters more than fishermen.



Exact opposite! Recreational boaters are very upset that they want the dam to be at a lower level all summer long. I want to know the people in favor of this project...I'm all for wild trout waters but this plan seems far fetched and not practical.


I'm referring to those using the water below the dam.

I boat on the lake, both recreationally and fishing. I haven't studied the numbers but if a balance between a stable lake level and minimal outflow could be reached I'd be agreeable.

BTW why do you say fishing in the lake is not that great? What species?

Posted on: 9/13 11:00


Re: Bald Eagle Creek/Sayers Dam

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There's no way they are turning lower bald eagle into trout water. Unless you have a boat good luck walking wading that water.

Posted on: 9/13 12:28
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