Last updated: August 26. 2014 12:34PM -
By - cwasmundt@civitasmedia.com



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Visitors to Findley State Park will soon see lower water levels at the lake.


Park manager Bridget Derrick said the 21-foot-deep lake will be slowly be drawn down by two feet to allow workers to complete concrete work on the upstream side of the lake’s dam.


Workers will open the lake’s drain at the north end with a wrench and allow the water to slowly creep it’s way into the Wellington Creek, Derrick said.


The lake has more than four miles of shoreline and lowering the waterline will take time so the creek isn’t flooded, Derrick said.


If the concrete isn’t repaired, erosion could cause damage to the dam and the earth behind it, Derrick said.


Flushing some water out has another upside. It will help the lake bring in new water, she said.


Decreasing water depth isn’t rare. Derrick said it was done most recently in 2012 when six feet of water was drained to allow crews to build a new boat ramp.


She expects the draw-down in 2012 had a bigger impact on the park’s wildlife than the current drainage will. That’s because a lower water depth allowed three eagles to find more snails and mussels on the shoreline and stay fed throughout winter.


Decreasing water depth can happen for a number of other reasons too. It can help with flood control, allow crews to reclaim beach sand, and even retrieve picnic tables, Derrick said.


Bringing the water levels up will be a job for Mother Nature.


Derrick said the Wellington Creek also feeds into the lake at the south end and will allow the water levels to naturally rise over time.


Construction on the dam is expected to begin Sept. 8 and be completed by Sept. 19 but those dates could change depending on weather, Derrick said.


Caitlyn Wasmundt may be reached at 440-647-3171 or on Twitter @LC_CaitW.


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