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Re: FEW Lehigh River no flow

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They drop the tele down to nearly zero the other week. This stuff happens on the Delaware system all the time. If they were to do it in the first week of August it would probably be devastating. But this time of year 2D water it for 15 minutes, the fish will be fine and the work needs to be done anyhow

Posted on: 10/12 8:45
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Re: FEW Lehigh River no flow

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I'm sorry that I don't understand the technical details of the dams operation. But maybe you can explain the following.

The OP reported that gauge below the dams showed flows of 12 cfs one day and 7 cfs another day.

Are you saying that these numbers are not accurate?

If so, what's the explanation for the discrepancy? Why was the gauge showing those numbers? And what was the actual flow at the time the gauge was reporting 12 cfs and 7 cfs?






Posted on: 10/12 10:44


Re: FEW Lehigh River no flow

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I think the word "Day" is where you might be getting sidetracked Troutbert. They drop it for only a couple of minutes and then open it back up. There are certain rules of physics that are going to take place as you get downstream only a short distance. Yes, right below the dam it's going to get VERY low VERY fast and then shoot right back to normal 15 minutes later. I could see some small fish and aquatic life loss there. But you get a mile or even 3+ down from the dam where the river begins it's flow into the 'gorge' and there are different things at play. First as water drops its velocity will decrease. When they reopen the dam the velocity is much faster for that higher water then the lowering water downstream. At some point downriver the water coming from the dam probably catches up to the water that is lower over that short period of time. My guess is that if you are in Jim Thorpe you would hardly even notice the fact that the water gets lower for a few minutes. By the time it's there it's probably all evened out. I don't think a momentary drop in the water for an inspection this time of year has any impact on the trout population at all once you get below route 80 and probably a very small impact above right at the dam.

Posted on: 10/12 11:05


Re: FEW Lehigh River no flow
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They ramp the flow down (close the gates) to near zero for a short time because maintenance needs to be done, no doubt.

Below is a table with the flow rates / 15 min intervals.

I'm sure the fish huddle up in the pools and puddles for an hour or so and the macros stay wet in the stilling basin and a ways downstream. The release behind it catches up quickly not too far downstream keeping everything underwater.

10/11/2017 08:45 EDT 873 cfs
10/11/2017 09:00 EDT 525
10/11/2017 09:15 EDT 256
10/11/2017 09:30 EDT 115
10/11/2017 09:45 EDT 46.8
10/11/2017 10:00 EDT 23.7
10/11/2017 10:15 EDT 16.0
10/11/2017 10:30 EDT 12.3
10/11/2017 10:45 EDT 9.87
10/11/2017 11:00 EDT 8.59
10/11/2017 11:15 EDT 7.44
10/11/2017 11:30 EDT 6.75
10/11/2017 11:45 EDT 233cfs

There is only only one flow gate for the dam. What would happen if the gate failed and it was unable to reopen?


Attach file:



jpg  FEW Lehigh Flow.jpg (64.00 KB)
53_59df88fa50405.jpg 576X384 px

jpg  FEW Dam.JPG (15.00 KB)
53_59df89013365f.jpg 260X195 px

Posted on: 10/12 11:23


Re: FEW Lehigh River no flow

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I think we all know the answer to your last sentence afish. Let's hope a day like that never ever comes.

Posted on: 10/12 12:14


Re: FEW Lehigh River no flow

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2011/4/10 23:56
From Bucks County
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Quote:
There is only one flow gate for the dam. What would happen if the gate failed and it was unable to reopen?


There is actually 2. The main gate at the bottom, and by pass gates which can be used when the lake level is at + 1360 The issue is those bypass gates can only allow 250 CFS through. They use them when the lake is full and top water temps cool enough to save as much of the cold water at the bottom as possible. This is not nearly as effective as say a multi level release tower that they have on Beltzville.

This is a known risk with FEW. (failing of the main gates) Part of the reason they do annual tunnel inspections I believe. With all that said, there is an ongoing intuitive to get a new release tower built which would have the ability to release as much as they want from different levels. Not only would we have a true tail water, but you also get full redundancy with release gates. Hopefully soon (by end of year) there might be significant news on that front.

Posted on: 10/12 12:36


Re: FEW Lehigh River no flow

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After reading this thread, there is a lot people don't know or understand about how the FEW Dam works or the Lehigh itself. If anyone/group/organization would like to become familiar with what is going on, I or someone from the LCFA would be glad to come and discuss or do a Q&A.

Posted on: 10/12 12:47


Re: FEW Lehigh River no flow
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Quote:

LehighRegular wrote:
After reading this thread, there is a lot people don't know or understand about how the FEW Dam works or the Lehigh itself. If anyone/group/organization would like to become familiar with what is going on, I or someone from the LCFA would be glad to come and discuss or do a Q&A.


^ LOL....this a great forum for Q&A. There are thousands of members watching and reading rather than a few dozen that must drive to some meeting.

My question is can you expand on what is happening with your statement: ..."there is an ongoing intuitive to get a new release tower built which would have the ability to release as much as they want from different levels. Not only would we have a true tail water, but you also get full redundancy with release gates. Hopefully soon (by end of year) there might be significant news on that front."

That would be a giant leap forward if water can be mixed, saving the cold water pool for high temp times.

Also, my bringing up the point about only one outlet for the dam would be an even bigger reason for the ACOE to consider a multiple release ability....safety!

Further, I recall the second smaller upper release portal being inoperable for a time.


Posted on: 10/12 14:27


Re: FEW Lehigh River no flow

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TB,

The further you move downriver, the less dramatic the impact of the gate closing. Same day....same river

Attach file:



jpg  Capture.JPG (76.59 KB)
9952_59dfb7c5615b6.jpg 947X548 px

jpg  Capture 2.JPG (52.17 KB)
9952_59dfb7ccb03c8.jpg 984X544 px

jpg  Capture 3.JPG (53.69 KB)
9952_59dfb7d9cb187.jpg 961X576 px

Posted on: 10/12 14:43


Re: FEW Lehigh River no flow

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Afish - I'm fine with doing a Q&A on here. I agree, this is a good forum for it.

Q: My question is can you expand on what is happening with your statement: ..."there is an ongoing intuitive to get a new release tower built which would have the ability to release as much as they want from different levels. Not only would we have a true tail water, but you also get full redundancy with release gates. Hopefully soon (by end of year) there might be significant news on that front."

A: The LCFA has been working with the ACOE to perform a feasibility study that will look at a wide variety of topics for FEW, which include a new tower construction with selective withdrawal tower, increasing the lake pool elevation, flood control impacts, economic benefits, re-authorization of FEW (currently only flood control & recreation - may need "water quality" authorization too) and the feasibility to make it all happen, etc.

Currently the Corps needs federal authorization and funding. We are working with Congressman Dent's office to get this into the Corps budget for 2018/19. The second part is there needs to be a "non federal sponsor" to come up with 50% of the money for this feasibility study (total cost of the study is ~ $3M). This has been more difficult part right now, but we are exploring many different options and possible sponsors.

Q: Also, my bringing up the point about only one outlet for the dam would be an even bigger reason for the ACOE to consider a multiple release ability....safety!

Further, I recall the second smaller upper release portal being inoperable for a time.

A: The discharge tower at FEW is equipped with gates at two different elevations. The BIG flood control gates are on the bottom. The flood control gates can dump 10,000 cfs of water when wide open. Approximately 50 ft above the flood control gates there are 2 bypass gates. These gates can only release 250-300 cfs maximum. There is only 0.5 billion gallons of water between the flood control and bypass gates.



Posted on: 10/12 15:13


Re: FEW Lehigh River no flow

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2015/6/1 16:22
From Burke VA
Posts: 1226
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I have never fished the Lehigh and know zero about the releases. My comment was about the tailwaters in general. To say that the releases on the savage or north branch of the potomac are with any fish or fishing in mind is laughable. I would love to hear some explanation from the corp on that one, as would the local fly shop owners I've spoken to. The gunpowder is another one but I get that, it is Baltimore's drinking water and nothing else matters.

Posted on: 10/12 15:51


Re: FEW Lehigh River no flow

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Ryan,

The only response I would have is that the Corps is great at building stuff, but they sure as hell can't manage sh1t, especially for fish or fishing interests. But that's not their priority and typically they operate under constraints many are not aware of. And its hard for them because of the variability needed for managing for trout. It just not in their DNA.

However, in the case of the Lehigh, they have been very open to input on how to better manage releases for fisheries interests. It has been greatly improved in the last 5-10 years then what it use to be. As such, the river and trout have responded favorably.

Posted on: 10/12 16:09


Re: FEW Lehigh River no flow

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2011/4/6 12:53
From Northwest NJ
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It is a shame the financial boom the entire area could realize from what could be two world class fisheries within a couple of hours with so many other stream options close by.

Posted on: 10/12 21:28


Re: FEW Lehigh River no flow

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2015/6/1 16:22
From Burke VA
Posts: 1226
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Lehigh,
It's interesting you say that. From talking to folks who make a living on the savage and north branch they have gotten zero response from the corps. On a number of occasions they have voiced their frustration to me. I'm getting that information second hand as I have never tried myself. As someone who monitors the inflow, outlow, temps and weather I can tell you their predicted flows are often ridiculously inaccurate. I've come to the conclusion that you are spot on about the corps management skills but it sounds like their is hope. Any advice you have about contacting the right folks or best way to get information?

Posted on: 10/12 22:16


Re: FEW Lehigh River no flow

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2006/9/11 21:48
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Ryan,

What we did is get our State Fisheries Agency (PFBC) on board with the improvements we were seeking. Then it was a series of meetings with the Corps to understand the limitations and constraints they operate under. It was really a matter of pulling all the players together and sitting down at the table and having an open and honest discussion. Things have just snowballed from there. Our biggest hurdle was getting the PFBC on board, but talking with the commissioners helped in that area. Things are run differently in the MD Fisheries division, so getting to the right person may be the key. It takes time and persistence. Nothing happens fast with government even though this stuff isn't rocket science.

Posted on: 10/13 9:56



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