ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY, PA (WTAJ) — As the lake at Lakemont Park is drained, more people are stepping up to do something about the aquatic life suffering from a lack of water. A new group is dedicated to saving them.
It took less than 2 days for over one hundred community members to get together in hopes of saving the fish in the Lakemont Park lake. But the Blair County Conservation District is warning that it could be a dangerous task. Blair County is continuing the Lakemont Sediment removal project in order to improve water quality. In a statement released on Friday, they say the exposed lakebed is extremely unsafe.
Blair County Conservation District Manager, Donna Fisher says “when it’s drawn down, it’s not going to be safe to get in there and get on that sediment.” But some members of the Blair County community say the county is on the verge of killing hundreds of fish. One concerned citizen says “the fish are trapped, carp, trout, panfish, other aquatic animals.” Rush Stehley is another who says “they should’ve got the fish out of there before they started draining it.”
Mark Conrad is one of almost 200 members in the Facebook group, “Save the FISH at Lakemont.” These members want to convince the county to do anything but let the aquatic life go to waste. Conrad says “there’s really nowhere for them to migrate. They can’t go downstream because of the grate blocking the spillway and they cant go upstream because there’s not enough water in the channel.” However, the statement says that grating was put in and the spillway was reversed in order to raise the water level. Commissioners say this will allow the aquatic animals to migrate.
Fisher tells us “the fish and the aquatic life will migrate to the deepest part of the dam which is near the spillway and then they can be removed from there.” She says there was no further information about the county’s plans for removal.