CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Anglers at Wayne County's East Lynn Lake are going to have a tough time trying to fish there for a while.
Beginning Feb. 14, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will lower the lake an additional 5 feet, effectively closing all of the impoundment's boat ramps.
"We got a call from [corps officials] last week," said Jeff Hansbarger, district fisheries biologist for the state Division of Natural Resources. "They said that when they're done with the drawdown, the lake will be roughly 11 feet below its normal summer level, and all the boat ramps will be inaccessible."
The drawdown will allow repairs to be made on support pilings for the bridge that leads to the lake's campground.
"They said they'd wanted to make those repairs for quite a while, and they decided this was the year to get it done," Hansbarger explained. "They said they'd begin refilling the lake around the last of March and into April."
The ramp closures will mainly affect anglers who fish for walleye and muskellunge, two species that remain active during winter and early spring. Hansbarger said walleye anglers would still be able to bank-fish the tailwaters of East Lynn Dam, but he said boating anglers would be out of luck until the lake refills enough for corps officials to reopen the ramps.
Fishermen aren't the only ones affected by the closures. Hansbarger and his DNR colleagues had planned to work on several lake-improvement projects this winter and spring.
"We were going to put in some Christmas-tree fish-habitat structures and some catfish nesting boxes," he said. "Now we're scrambling, trying to get those done before the additional drawdown begins on Feb. 14."
He said another pending project, the planting of aquatic vegetation beds, would be delayed until just before the lake begins to refill.
Reach John McCoy at johnmc...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1231.