Shamokin Dam, PA –Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and Department of General Services Acting Secretary Joe Lee today visited the worksite for a future fish passage at Shikellamy State Park’s Adam T. Bower Memorial Dam. The dam, when inflated, creates the 3,000-acre Lake Augusta for the annual summer boating season. A fish passage will provide a much-needed pathway for aquatic life to safely migrate around the dam during that time of year.
“DCNR is proud to announce this fish passage and the benefits it will bring to aquatic life at this portion of the mighty Susquehanna River,” Dunn said. “When completed, this project will help us better balance our stewardship of this important natural resource and the fish that will be able to safely pass through the area. Thanks to the Department of General Services, our park and facilities and design staff for their work to make this important project a reality.”
The fish passage will create a 900-foot-long stream on the western shoreline of the dam, between the dam itself and the Shamokin Dam borough-owned Fabridam Park. When Lake Augusta is at its full pool depth, water will pass around the dam structure through the stream. The slope throughout the passage will create approximately 10-feet in elevation, allowing aquatic life to pass over the dam and into Lake Augusta freely and safely.
Park officials said the 2023 boating season will operate May to October without any interruptions. KC Construction Company will complete the $3.3 million project, which is expected to be completed in fall 2023.
The fish passage will be created out of rock and rip rap material, it will be approximately 35-feet wide and 5-feet deep during normal operation. Within the passage there will be a series of four deeper pools that will assist the upstream movement of aquatic life. American shad and American eel are the primary species that need the passage for migration.
The downstream entrance of the fish passage is located approximately 130-feet below the dam. Along the downstream side of the fish passage there will be a walking path that will serve as the bank to the fish passage, as well as pedestrian access to the river for recreational purposes.
The inflatable dam is the longest of its type in North America and is located in the largest watershed of the east coast, the Susquehanna River Basin.
Shikellamy State Parks lies on the Susquehanna River and features a marina and boat launch, hiking and biking trails, and an overlook of the river. Visit DCNR’s website for more information about the park and boating on Lake Augusta.