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Lakes being drained in effort to curtail weed growth

| Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

It's time to purge two Westmoreland County lakes of excessive weeds.

County parks workers this week started the process of lowering lake water levels at Twin Lakes Park and Mammoth Park in an effort to kill off the wild growth that has inundated the recreational bodies of water.

“The lakes will still be open but it will just be muddy along the shoreline,” said Greg McCloskey, the county's public works director.

Water levels at the 25-acre lower lake at Twin Lakes Park and the 21-acre lake at Mammoth Park will remain low until March.

The lakes will naturally refill in the spring from rainfall and snow melt, according to McCloskey.

The draining project is the second phase of work started last year to reduce weeds in the water. Last year, the county used nontoxic pellets to slow the weed growth.

Phase two will see water levels reduced by 8 to 10 feet, which will kill off about 50 percent of the remaining vegetation in the lakes, according to McCloskey.

“It will allow for better aquatic life, better fishing and better lives for water fowl,” McCloskey said.

Fishing and other recreational activities will be allowed to continue during the project.

According to the county's website, the Mammoth Park lake in Mt. Pleasant Township is used in the winter for ice fishing and ice skating.

Both lakes at Twin Lakes, in Hempfield and Unity townships, are used for ice fishing.

The water level is not being reduced in the upper lake.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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