Lake Work Estimated To Be Finished by Mid-Summer
By LAUREN MATTHEWS
Work at Conaway Run Dam in Tyler County is now estimated to be complete by mid-summer, contingent on “good, dry weather;” however, Conaway Lake is not expected to return to summer pool levels until late summer, at the earliest.
This update comes from a West Virginia Department of Commerce spokesperson, who also noted areas within the construction limits will be seeded as quickly as possible upon completion. However, vegetation “will likely not be widespread for a month or two.”
According to the spokesperson, “Since the site was still under construction, the contractor was required to maintain the lower pool elevation during the shutdown period. This work required the pool to be lowered below the elevations of the work areas.”
The spokesperson noted the work being conducted at the dam is part of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resource’s work to secure a Certificate of Approval for the dam through the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Dam Safety Section. “The improvements are necessary to remain in-compliance with state laws. When complete, the dam will operate as-designed and will attenuate the appropriate storm flows.”
Furthermore, the project is reportedly designed to “provide enhanced recreational lake access though improved trails and the addition of a new fisherman’s trail along the upstream side of the dam.”
In January 2019, a WV Department of Commerce spokesperson said the WVDNR agreed to a winter shutdown of the project, per the request of the project’s contractor. The DNR and its consultant engineer “agreed that a winter shutdown is the best course of action to take in order to provide an optimal project outcome.” However, at this point, the WV Department of Commerce spokesperson had stated the proposed completion date for construction was May 31, 2019.
In the meantime, trout stocking at Conaway Run Lake has been suspended.
The lake was closed to boating traffic in early June 2018 and was expected to be reopened sometime in Fall 2018. A June 14, 2018 news release on the WVDNR’s website states that the “Conaway Run Lake in Tyler County is undergoing repairs from June 11 through Oct. 31, 2018.”
However, according to a WVDNR weekly fishing report for January 3, 2019, “The lake was originally scheduled to be reopened to boating traffic by the end of November.”
The WV Department of Commerce has maintained the project’s progress was “severely delayed” by significant rainfall an saturated ground conditions, leading to the winters shutdown.
The boat ramp, parking lot and access road to the dam remain closed, as well as the fisherman’s trail.