Tygart Lake Marina will be closing on Sunday, July 15, due to the dropping of the lake level. All boats need to be removed by Monday, July 16.
GRAFTON – This Sunday, July 15, will be the last day that the Tygart Lake Marina will be open until further notice. According to Jeff McClean, boats need to be removed from the marina by Monday, July 16.
The unusually dry conditions have brought Tygart Lake down to 12 feet below summer pool level, and the level continues to drop. According to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tygart Lake Resource Manager, Mike Estock, the lake level is dropping at the rate of ½-foot-per-day, with no relief in sight.
“The problem is that there is no water coming in from the tributaries,” Estock explained. “We are only getting 12 to 13 percent of normal flows. There is a district wide water shortage in the Pittsburg District. Projects are low in all our areas.”
According to Estock, at the rate that the water is dropping, there will soon be not enough water in the bay to support the marina. And, with no significant rainfall forecast for the immediate future, the level will continue to drop.
Currently, the lake level is 12.5 feet below summer pool level, which is an elevation of 1,093.45 feet above sea level. As of Monday, the level is at 1,081 feet. The projection, if there is not a significant rain event, is that the level will be at 1,076.5 feet by July 19, and by August 2, it will be at 1,069.8 feet, or roughly 23.65 feet below summer pool level.
The isolated storms, that have been hitting the area over the past week, have had little, or no impact on the lake level. According to Estock, the ground has been soaking that water up, and there has been very little run off.
The boat launching ramp near the gravel parking lot was nearly out of the water on Monday, and a red cone at the top signified its closure. According to Estock, the ramp near the new retaining wall will likewise be out of the water within ten days.
After the marina pulls out, the ramp closest to it will be open, but it is subject to the same conditions.
According to Estock, the lower level of the lake has exposed the rock cliffs at the Pleasant Creek entrance near the Doe Run Impoundment. Park rangers have been patrolling that area, and advising people not to jump, or dive, off of these rocks into the lake. This is a very dangerous situation that could result in injury, or death.
The Tygart Dam is only releasing the minimal amount of water required to keep commerce flowing down stream. Tygart Lake State Park is still working to restore power to the campground and cabins, but the Tygart Lake Lodge is running, including the Boston Beanery at Tygart Lake.
“Unless we get long periods of rain, I don’t see this drought lifting any time soon,” Estock stated.
Following, is an official press release from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
GRAFTON -- Low water levels at Tygart Lake in Taylor County have resulted in the imminent closure of the marina at Tygart Lake State Park the weekend of July 13. Water release from Tygart Lake is at minimum flow. Elevation for maximum (reservoir full) is 1,167 and normal summer pool is 1,094.
“The lake will be at 17 feet below summer pool by July 19, which is 1,077 feet in elevation,” said Jim Browning, assistant superintendent at the state park. By August 2, the pool will be at 1,071 feet, which is 23 feet below normal summer pool.
“With no significant rainfall in the forecast, the marina is forced to close,” Browning said. “The docks will be removed first and then the ramps. The marina is expecting all boats to be out by July 15, and the gas docks to be pulled on July 18 ,or 19, or sooner.”
The marina will close for the season the weekend of July 13. One ramp at the marina area is currently out of service, due to low water conditions, and a second ramp is operational, but will be out of service soon. Access to the lake will only be available at the Pleasant Creek Wildlife Management side of the lake. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which owns the lake, will begin the normal winter draw down on August 15.
Tygart Lake State Park operates the recreational and overnight accommodation features of the Tygart Lake area. The state park features a 20-room lodge overlooking the lake controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers.
The lodge, meeting facilities, and The Boston Beanery Restaurant are open year-round. Vacation cabins, campground, picnic area and marina are seasonal in operation. The marina is operated privately, as a concession contract for the state park, by Tygart Lake Marina, LLC. Tygart Lake Mariana’s phone number is 304-265-3974.
For additional information about Tygart Lake State Park, lodge and cabin reservations and activities, visit www.tygartlake.com or call 304-265-6144. Tygart Lake State Park has power restored and continues with cleanup and recovery following the summer storms.
With the exception of the administrative area and visitors center, in the vicinity of the dam, the lake and its surrounding federal lands are out-granted by the Corps of Engineers to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources as part of Tygart Lake State Park and the Pleasant Creek Hunting and Fishing Area.
About Tygart Lake (from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website):
Tygart Lake is an Army Corps of Engineers lake, 10-miles long and 1,750 acres on the Tygart River in Taylor County about 2.25 miles above Grafton. The lake is located in Taylor and Barbour Counties.
Tygart Lake was authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1935. Tygart Dam was the first of 16 flood control projects in the Pittsburgh District. The project provides flood protection for the Tygart River Valley, as well as, for the Monongahela and upper Ohio Rivers. Since its completion in 1938, Tygart has prevented flood damages estimated to be nearly $1.2 billion.
In addition to flood control, the Tygart project was also authorized for navigation and water supply purposes. During the summer and fall low-water season, Tygart releases additional water downstream to meet navigation water supply requirements on the Monongahela and upper Ohio River for commercial navigation. The increased flow also improves water quality and quantity for domestic and industrial use, recreation, aesthetics and aquatic life.