LOCK HAVEN - Anglers will see some improvements to Fishing Creek at the Axe Factor Dam site this summer, according to Clinton County Conservation District Director Mary Ann Bower and Watershed Specialist Scott Kozer.
Bower and Kozer outlined the project, which is funded via a $70,000 competitive federal grant from the national Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
The report was given to the Clinton County Commissioners at their work session Monday.
The before shot of the Robinson Farm after a similar project was completed in 2010.
Construction is expected to begin next Monday, and fishermen are welcome to view the building - from a safe distance.
The sportsmen should realize that fishing in this section of Fishing Creek during the project might not be possible.
The work is being conducted to stabilize the bank and enhance the fish habitat in Lamar Township, due to a cooperative effort between the district and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Kozer said.
Kozer said the project involves placing natural materials such as logs nad rocks in "very specific arrangements" in locations along the stream, to decrease erosion, create the overhead cover the fish enjoy as a refuse from predators, and deflect high flows away from banks.
"In general, we're creating better places and resources for fish to grow and reproduce," Kozer said. "In the meantime we'll work to remove some invasive species, Tree of Heaven.
Tree-of-heaven (also called ailanthus, Chinese sumac, stinking sumac, stinktree, and stinkwood) is a non-native, invasive tree species from Asia. It has spread throughout this country where it is a nuisance in rural and urban communities alike.
The thicket-forming species can grow up to 20 feet in a year and can attain a height of eighty feet and a diameter of three feet. It has become a serious ecological and economic threat to native forests and waterways and an eyesore in urban areas.
Kozer said efforts will not completely eradicate the pest, but might decrease its presence the areas to be improved.
"There's been a lot of interest, in the project," Bower said, noting that the area has been the site of several improvements in recent years, including the removal of the Axe Factory Dam in 2009.
Clinton County Commissioner Pete Smeltz said the current fishing and parking area is owned by PennDOT, which has expressed an interest in some entity, perhaps local government or a sportsmen's nonprofit organization, taking over maintenance of the property.
Kozer likened the project to work done on a smaller scale along Cedar Run.
"If we can decrease the velocity of the water of move it away from the bank, we'll work to do that, and we'll try to create 'back water' for cover for the fish. "
Bower and Kozer said natural materials, such as logs and rocks will be used in specific arrangements at various locations.
The two stream sections targeted for restoration are located upstream of the former dam site.
Structures include "multi-log vane deflectors" and cribbing.
Construction is expected to conclude before July 1, depending on favorable stream flow conditions.