Frye: Mammoth Lake may see repairs
TribLIVE Sports Videos
To get a look at Mammoth Lake's future, you need look to North Park Lake's past.
The latter was an oversized mud puddle, weed-choked and growing increasingly shallow, when it was drained in 2009.
Over the next three years, tons of accumulated silt were dredged from its basin. Habitat structures were installed. Fish — from largemouth bass and bluegill fingerlings to adult trout — were stocked in time for angling to resume in spring 2012.
It's been a better, more popular place to fish since, with its best days yet ahead.
“We're happy with it,” said Andy Baechle, director of Allegheny County's parks department. “The fishing isn't going to be completely back for a little while yet. But I'd say that in a few more years, it's going to be some of the best fishing around.”
At 25 acres, Mammoth Lake is about one-quarter the size of North Park Lake. But it's facing some of the same woes.
“It's been slowly filling up since the 1970s,” said Malcolm Sias, Westmoreland County's parks and recreation director.
Several years ago, the county attempted to address that by raising the dam breast by 18 inches to hold back more water. That proved a temporary fix.
“I think we've now reached the point where when we do anything, we're going to have to completely drain the lake,” Sias said.
The county is working with an engineer to determine how best to do that, what it would cost and what to do with the 100,000 cubic yards of “pudding-like goop” that will result, Sias said. The county is also looking at how it might install fish habitat structures, develop launches for canoes and kayaks, and build a sediment bay that would capture silt in the future.
Money is an issue, however. The cost of dredging and restoring the lake initially was thought to be in the $500,000 range. Now it likely will be more, Sias said.
“We don't have the money to do everything,” Sias said.
He is hoping that, with a definitive restoration plan in place, the county can add state and foundation grants to the money it can come up with to pay for the work. The goal is to find funding in 2014, do the work in 2015 — starting in June, after trout season — and finish it as quickly as possible.
“The lake gets a huge amount of use. It's a big tradition in that area,” Sias said. “It's a key part of that (park), so we've got to find a way to make this happen.”
Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- For Steelers outside linebacker Jones, size is not an obstacle
- Medical pot advocates state their case at town hall meeting with Sen. Folmer in Export
- Elizabeth Forward School District fosters high-tech culture
- Montgomery County man jumps into race for Pennsylvania governor
- Pittsburgh paramedics treat 38 people at Stage AE concert
- Donora buys old elementary center
- Western Pennsylvania drivers at bottom of insurer’s safety rankings
- Kittanning Foodland announces it will close
- Indiana County township ‘afraid for the water’ fights waste well
- North Huntingdon Food lover’s writing project becomes ‘Seriously Delish’ guide
- Steelers’ Polamalu downplays emotional outburst