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Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director


News Release : August 22, 2005


Hoy Murphy , Public Information Officer (304) 558-3380

Contact: Bret Preston , Wildlife Resources Section (304) 558-2771


Woodrum Lake Fish Recovery Effort Completed


  A fish recovery effort undertaken by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) at Woodrum Lake in Jackson County has been completed, according to Bret Preston , assistant chief of the DNR Wildlife Resources Section. The recovery attempt was conducted as a result of the unintended draining of the lake by the United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).


  During a recent inspection of the dam, the NRCS, the agency which controls the dam, was not able to close the lower dam gate. The 244-acre flood control impoundment had to be drained to allow repairs to the water control structure that was damaged when opened during the inspection. The fish recovery efforts below the dam occurred from late Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning, August 15-16, with fewer than 300 fish salvaged.


  “The DNR efforts were hampered by several factors,” Preston said. “Fish have a tendency to swim upstream and were reluctant to move down through the restricted space of the dam gate. Also, this was an extremely difficult time to initiate fish rescue efforts as above-average temperatures and other factors deteriorated water quality in the lake. When fish finally began to move through the gate into the outlet structure, they were in distress or already dead as a result of water quality conditions in the lake.


  “Woodrum Lake was an outstanding fishery and we are extremely disappointed that this resource has been lost,” Preston said. “It is our understanding that NRCS is currently evaluating the condition of the gate structure, and they expect repairs to be completed in approximately two months. However, the lake may not return to normal pool until next year.”


  The DNR is currently considering fish management options, including the stocking of selected fish species this year if water levels allow and with stocking and monitoring efforts continuing into 2006.


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