HUNTINGDON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — It’s been over a year since the lake at Whipple Dam State Park was dredged. Now, the park is welcoming back its community and its aquatic life.
“It’s their swimming hole, it’s where they picnic with their families,” says Michael Dinsmore, park manager. “They’ve been coming here since their grandpa brought them however many years ago.”
Whipple Lake was man-made in 1935 and has been a staple of Huntingdon County ever since.
“A lot of local people really care about this park and have been asking, and want to come out here and spend time,” says Dinsmore.
But, naturally-occurring sediment built up over time, impeding recreation, fishing, and boating. Dismore says the need to dredge the lake has been known since 1986.
About 40,000 cubic yards of sediment was removed from the lake bed.
Don’t fear, he says, the fish found a new home during the process.
“With the help of the fishing boat commission, [we] salvaged a good amount of fish when we drained the lake and took them over to Lake Perez so they were still accessible to the public.”
Some new additions including a wheelchair accessible fishing pier and an accessible ramp to access the swimming area.
“Portions of the railing are lower to accommodate wheelchairs, and also the slots between the railings are so that the fish can be brought in between the railing and don’t have to be lifted over,” says Dinsmore.
Brush will serve as underwater habitats for fish to establish population, and a local Eagle Scout made and placed eight turtle basking platforms.
Structurally, there were repairs to the dam’s stone walls and there’s new pavement surrounding the park, which may be accessible to the public by Friday. Plus, the park manager says they’re right on track for the start of trout fishing this season.