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Fishing Regulations Lifted on Somerset Lake

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Fishing Regulations Lifted on Somerset Lake

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Sept. 2) – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is alerting anglers that it has temporarily lifted all seasons, sizes and creel limits on Somerset Lake, Somerset County, in anticipation of the lake being fully drained next year as part of the construction project to rebuild the facility’s dam.

“We have temporarily lifted the regulations in order to reduce the number of fish in the lake in advance of a complete drawdown of the lake and a fish salvage,” said Jason Detar, Chief of the PFBC Division of Fisheries Management. “We want anglers to fish the water and make good use of as many fish as they can.”

The temporary regulations will remain in place until further notice by the PFBC. The 252-acre warmwater lake holds largemouth bass, walleye, channel catfish, crappies, sunfish, perch, muskellunge and tiger muskellunge.

Last month, Governor Tom Wolf announced that he was releasing $25.7 million in capital budget funding for the repair of five high-hazard, unsafe dams, including Somerset Lake, and the design of two other dams. High-hazard, unsafe dams have deficiencies of such a nature that if not corrected and the dams were to fail, substantial property damage and a probable loss of human life could occur.

Somerset Lake was lowered six feet in January 2012 to reduce pressure on the earthen dam after state dam-safety inspectors documented excessive seepage.

The construction project is expected to take two years to complete, with the lake reopened for public use in spring of 2019. Under the current timeline, the lake will be fully drained next fall. A fish salvage will then be conducted to move fish to other waters. The lake will be stocked to rebuild the fishery after construction is completed.

The PFBC will hold a public meeting in advance of the drawdown and fish salvage. A date has not yet been established.
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