PYMATUNING LAKE Official: Water won't be artificially lowered

Lower-than-normal water levels may have fueled the stories.
JAMESTOWN, Pa. -- Rumors that the Pymatuning Lake water level is being artificially dropped for a dock reconstruction project are untrue, said John Houghton, state park manager.
He said the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has notified boat owners whose craft are moored or docked at the Jamestown Marina that their craft must be removed from the lake by Sept. 10 for the dock project, but no other boaters will be affected.
The others still have until the regular deadline of Nov. 1 to remove their boats, he said.
The marina, located just north of the lake dam and commonly referred to as the boat livery, will be closed to all boating traffic and business effective Sept. 10, Houghton said.
Renovation project: The park begins a $1.5 million shoreline and dock renovation project that day, and the job is scheduled for completion before April 1, in time for the 2002 boating season.
Contrary to rumors, the project won't require that the lake level be dropped any lower than normal, Houghton said.
The livery, which offers fishing equipment sales and boat rentals as well as boat gasoline sales will cease all operations Sept. 10. Its restaurant will close as well, at least through early winter, he said.
The nearby public launch ramp isn't part of the project and will remain open.
Dry summer: A dry summer that has the current lake level about 18 inches below normal may have helped fuel rumors that DCNR was lowering the water for the project, Houghton said.
The state lake is required to release a consistent source of water to feed the Shenango River but is doing what it can to protect the water level for boaters.
"We're releasing the bare minimum," he said, adding that a few good rains would help.
The state will also be rebidding the livery concession for next year, Houghton said, noting the current provider's 10-year contract expires this year.

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