Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission officials have announced that deficiencies at the 40-acre Mountain Springs Lake in Luzerne County that borders Ricketts Glen State Park and State Game Land 57 will require the agency to completely drain the reservoir and proceed with plans to breach the dam.
Plans call for the drawdown to begin in mid-October and may take more than a month to complete with the draining done at a rate of about one foot per day, depending on weather. It is expect that the actual breaching of the dam will take place in late 2013 or early 2014.
"Commission engineers and the state Department of Environmental Protection routinely inspect the dam, and during a recent inspection we found large cracks in the concrete," PFBC chief of engineering Jack Rokavec said. "Excessive seepage has also been observed through the embankment, as the dam is more than 100 years old and was designed and built prior to current dam safety regulations and engineering standards of practice."
At this point, the PFBC has no plans to rebuild the dam, and agency waterways conservation officers say the lake receives minimal use. That is due in part because of the difficulty in reaching it, as the lake is accessible only by a five-mile, unpaved road through SGL 57.
PFBC biologists report that the lake is a poor fishery because of the acidic water, and there are no plans to conduct a fish salvage prior to the drawdown because of the poor condition of the fishery and because the condition of the access road prohibits them from getting the necessary equipment to the lake. Fishing will remain open to public use until the water level reaches a point where it may be unsafe for anglers, at which point the lake will be closed and signs posted alerting anglers of the closing.
Sunday's edition of "Experience The Outdoors," hosted by award-winning Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz, at 7 a.m. on 1410 WLSH and 9:30 a.m. on Magic 105.5, will feature Deer Recovery of Pennsylvania president Andy Bensing.
A two-day rendezvous and muzzleloader shoot sponsored by First Frontier Militia is being held Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13 and 14, at Bowmanstown Rod and Gun Club, Gun Club Road, off Route 248, Bowmanstown. For information, call Roger Fisher at 610-377-2812.
Saturday, Oct. 13, will be the annual "Harvest of Autumn Fun," at the Ned Smith Center, Millersburg, from noon to 4 p.m. Designed to increase awareness of the natural world with many activities for children and families, the event including live animal presentations, face painting, tours of the pumpkin patch, creating a fall decoration, pumpkin bowling and children's train rides. There will be a honeybee presentation by Carns Bee Farm of Millersburg, and there is no admission charge for attendees to the Olewine Gallery and the Ned Smith Gallery.
Letters of confirmation have been mailed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission to the 65 successful hunters who applied for a 2012 Pennsylvania elk license, which were awarded at a public drawing held at the agency's Harrisburg headquarters that was also webcast.
This year, there were 18,613 applicants for an elk license and 707 applicants who only purchased a preference point and were not included in the drawing.
State law prevents the PGC from publishing a list of winners, but those who were in the drawings can check on the status of their application through the Pennsylvania Automated License System on the agency website at http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/  http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/  . Those who have received a license will have "awarded" and designated Elk Hunt Zone following their name, and those not successful will have "unsuccessful" after their name.
Of the 19 antlered elk licenses, 18 were awarded to Pennsylvania residents, and one was awarded to a hunter from Virginia. Of the 46 antlerless elk licenses awarded, 44 went to Pennsylvanians and one went to hunter from Florida and one to a hunter from Vermont.
Bear's Head 3-D course is open daily through Friday, Oct. 12, from dawn to dusk daily, on club grounds located off I-81 exit 134, 148 Lofty Road, Delano. For information, call the association at 570-467-0331.
Hazleton Archery Club, 170 Woodside Drive, Freeland, has 3-D shoots Sundays, beginning at 7 a.m., and Thursdays, beginning at 4 p.m., For information, call the club at 570- 450-0988.