Monday, February 6th, 2023
Monday, February 6th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Dam repairs wrapping up at Salt Fork

By Jared Meighen Contributing Writer

Cambridge, Ohio — Repairs to the dam at Salt Fork Lake in
southeast Ohio are coming to an end, just in time for spring
fishing season.

“Currently, we’re wrapping everything up,” said Mia Kannik, a
project engineer with the Dam Safety Engineering Program. “Right
now we’re putting the final touches on the project by grading the
land, seeding, mulching, etc.”

Drainage problems in the earthen dam that helps form the
3,000-acre lake began cropping up more than a year ago, prompting
the repair project.

A new toe drain has been installed and is functional. There was
also one abutment drain buried on both the east and west sides of
the dam to help gather water runoff from adjoining hills.

“We didn’t run into any problems with inclement weather and
everything went just as planned,”Kannik said.

The DNR took advantage of lower water levels to replace several
docks at Salt Fork Marina and perform other dock work at Sugartree
Marina.

Currently, it’s estimated that the repair bill for the dam will
be $3.2 million, but Kannik pointed out that officials still are
gathering numbers for the final report.

The Great Lakes Construction Co. of Hinckley, Ohio, was awarded
the contract for the dam repair last November. The company worked
under the supervision of Gannett Fleming Inc., an international
engineering firm with extensive experience in dam repair.

After being several feet below full pool for nearly a year, the
DNR is now allowing the lake to fill back up. By April, everything
should be back to normal on Salt Fork.

With this news, many local business owners have breathed a sigh
of relief, as several of them incurred losses last year as a result
of low water levels and poor lake accessibility.

“Business is already improving,” said Joe Cook of Salt Fork
Outdoors, “and we look for that trend to continue as summer
approaches.”

Cook also pointed out that it is possible the angling
opportunities on Salt Fork this year will be better due to the low
angling pressure and harvest numbers in 2005.

Salt Fork holds good numbers of muskies, saugeyes, crappies, and
other panfish. It is located in Salt Fork State Park, the largest
in Ohio.

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