Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy Fathers Day 2013... Pequea Boat Launch Update 06/15/2013

Hello Folks,

Before I begin today's blog bntry, I would like to wish all the Fathers who visit "Fishing With Dad" a "Happy Fathers Day 2013!"

What better place to come visit on the internet than Dad's Blog... LOL!

I hope that you all have a great day tomorrow doing what you want to do, when you want to do it!

I got a call yesterday evening from my very good friend and fellow angler, Mike Burton. Mike called me to see if I could help out with my G3 by assisting the Lancaster Hawg Hunters youth club outing at Havre de Grace, Md. I would have loved to participate today, but I had already made extremely important plans for today and had to turn down his request, which I hate to do... And it was such a beautiful day outside, too!

This past Thursday evening, Julie and I took a drive to the PPL Pequea Boat Launch to see how far along the new ramp project has come. Several months ago, they had torn down the house (used to be a convenience store years back) that was sitting just above the parking lot and used the basement area as a retaining pool when they were dredging in front of the Pequea Creek ramps.

That area is now filled in and paved over to provide space for an upper parking lot that provides and additional twelve trailer parking spaces...

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The above photo shows where the new parking lot is located... Just to the right of the main entrance.

The pic below shows the twelve new trailer parking spaces. I'm curious to see how the old parking lot will be outlined for parking. For the past two years, there has been absolutely no "Handicap Parking". As a handicapped angler, I am sure that this violates a Federal Law... But I will give PPL the benefit of doubt knowing that they were thinking further ahead to this new project and will add "Handicap Parking" spaces once the project is completed.

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The river has been on the rise this past week after we had much needed rainfall. In fact, on Thursday, the NOAA Predictor at Harrisburg, Pa. predicted that the Susquehanna River would rise to 10.5' by today, Saturday June 15, 2013. But as of this evening at 7:00 p.m., the river only reached 5.75'... Much lower than originally predicted!

The Susquehanna River is expected to crest in Harrisburg, Pa. at 6.2' by Monday.

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To understand how the Pequea Creek could rise to the point in the above pic, take into account that the Holtwood Dam (South of the Pequea Creek) has what is called "Flash Boards" across the top of it's concrete structure. Theses are replaceable boards that create a lake behind them. These "Flash Boards" can and do get damaged sometimes due to high water or ice events. They can even be damaged by large debris (fallen trees, etc.) as it makes it's way south.

The Holtwood Dam is an "overflow" dam and will only hold back a certain amount of river water before it spills. However, The Safe Harbor Dam (North of the Pequea Creek) controls the amount and flow of water that enters into Lake Aldred. Therefore, Safe Harbor Dam personnel largely determine the height of Lake Aldred.

This is not to say that the Holtwood Dam personnel doesn't have any control. They certainly do buy the amount of water they allow to enter their power plant which is located on the Lancaster County side of the river.

Several years ago, PPL sold their interest in the Safe Harbor Power Plant. However, they do own the Holtwood Dam and are currently expanding it's site and production of electricity. When PPL had interest in both Safe Harbor and the Holtwood Dam, anglers and boaters could rely on Lake Aldred levels to be maintained at safe levels for recreational activities. It's sad to say that this is no longer the case.

As you have seen in past post, the levels on Lake Aldred fluctuate drastically at times putting boaters and anglers in peril. We have seen and experienced this lake drop several feet in minutes despite whatever lake level reading the Safe Harbor Dam may have posted on their website... This rarely happened when the two power plants were owned by PPL. I would assume that was because the two power plants were in constant communication with one another.

I took the next photo while facing out towards the new ramp location. As you can see, there is still much to be done before the two new ramps are opened to the general public.

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This photo also gives us a good idea of how the new ramp area will flood when the river rises unless there is a plan to prevent it (?).

I hope that these photos give each visitor an idea of the progress at the Pequea Boat Launch in Lancaster (Pa.) County. I do have friends who call me from time to time and ask questions about this particular ramp. They know that I consider Lake Aldred my "Home Waters".

Good luck tomorrow to my fishing buddy, Steve Halbleib and his father (Steve, Sr.). They will be fishing in the NASS club tournament at Fort Hunter on the Susquehanna River. What a great way to spend Fathers Day! Afterwards, head home to the family to enjoy the rest of the day. Catch The Big One!

Take Care and Be Safe!