Over the past several weeks a lot of improvements to our area concerning recreational opportunities are being considered. These improvements are in the early stages but, if they come to fruition, will help the economy of the area. We all know that the area could use the economic boost. In the following, I will try to update some of the plans being considered.
I would like to start with Dunkard Creek. MEPCO is currently working with the Greene County Soil Conservation District to clean up some of the Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) in Dunkard Creek. From my understanding MEPCO is doing mitigation on two AMD discharges from the old Madison Mine A1 and A2 discharges. The plan is to pipe the AMD from these discharges to the Steel AMD treatment plant. This water will be treated for contaminates dealing with mine water. According to MEPCO about 80% of the bad water entering Dunkard can be removed. If this is possible, that would be fantastic for the creek. This would allow many species of fish to migrate upstream, thus developing a much better fishery in the stream. Along with the fishery the possibilities of developing a water trail for kayaks and canoes becomes greater. Let us hope that the details for this clean up become reality.
The next possibility is the Weiscarver Reservoir being used as a recreational hot spot. There have been good reports of bass and bluegills being caught. The only problem with the lake is access. The Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) of Greene County has offered to help with the clean-up problem. The lake shows tremendous possibilities for recreation.
Another consideration is the re-introduction of blue catfish into our water system. These fish were destroyed by AMD. The plan is calling for a program to have school children and Waynesburg University to raise thee fish to reintroduce back into the river and streams. These fish can weigh up to 160 pounds, but that would take years. The idea is based on the Trout in the Classroom program that now exists. Our water is not conducive for trout, but catfish will thrive. The plans are going through the process of being accepted by the PA Fish and Boat Commission. Recently, the the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) met with Senator Pat Stefano, head of fish and game in the senate, to educate on the blue catfish program.
During the meeting with Stefano, cleaning up Redstone Creek was discussed. The potential of developing this stream is exciting to say the least. The stream can provide a spawning area for a variety of fish that migrate from the river. Other than a fishery, the recreational potential for kayaks and canoes is also a real possibility. The stream has good pH levels, but the iron levels are very high and need to be addressed. In the discussion, it was requested that a complete water analysis be done on the stream. Also, the possibility of cleaning Georges Creek and the Fayette County AMD into the Cheat River was considered. These projects would provide some well-needed jobs and the water quality in the sources of our raw drinking water would be enhanced.
In the end of September or early October, the IWLA will be stocking trout again. The stocking will be determined by water temperature and water chemistry. I will inform you about the stocking as details become finalized. The current rain will help.
As always let us work together for the betterment of all and always trust in a higher power for comfort and guidance.