Over 30 volunteers converged on the Claytor Lake State Park to help the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ John Copeland in the annual Christmas For the Fishes Program. Support from The Friends of Claytor Lake, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Appalachian Power helped build new fish habitat from an amazing 455 donated Christmas Trees. All the created habitat was distributed in areas of the lake surround the Claytor Lake State Park.
Want to help for next year? Donate your Christmas tree and come on out to help everyone put them in place.
Special Thanks to John Copeland for organizing this yearly event and to Ryan Stubblebine and Brody Havens for all the tree collection and preparation work involved. Thanks to the boat Captains for keeping your passengers safe: Jeff Arnold, Brody Havens, Bill Kittrell, George Palmer, and Jeff Williams. Thanks to Laura Walters for preparing the lunch chili and goodies. Thanks to Laura Bullard for setting up the lunch for us. Thanks to Steve Gregory for coordinating the DGIF Complementary Workforce volunteers. Thanks to the New River Valley Master Naturalist volunteers who came out as well!
Laura Bullard The Friends of Claytor Lake
This year Laura Bullard was named FOCL’s 2019 Volunteer of the Year for her years of dedicated service to the lake community and her unwavering support of FOCL’s mission. Not only serving as FOCL’s Secretary but putting in the time for its numerous programs and projects including working with our partners on the Shoreline Management Plan, Drawdown, and Mussel Salvage. Claytor Lake owes her an enormous debt of gratitude.
The Friends of Claytor Lake will be having its November Public Meeting at Dublin Town Hall board room on Thursday, November 14 at 6:00pm. Dinner will be served.
Appalachian Power Company, at the request of The Friends of Claytor Lake (FOCL) and in consultation with local government, and state and federal agencies, has scheduled a five foot drawdown of Claytor Lake in November to enable property owners to do maintenance and clean up along the lake\’s shoreline. Drawdown activities usually involve debris clean up, repairs to shoreline structures, and shoreline stabilization. We urge you to take advantage of this five foot drawdown as drawdowns are now typically scheduled for only three feet every other year.
The drawdown is scheduled to begin at one foot per day on Monday morning, November 4, until the lake reaches its full drawdown depth of five feet (1841 elevation) by Saturday morning, November 9. The lake is to remain five feet down until Sunday p.m., November 17, when refilling will begin. Depending on inflow, the lake is targeted to return to its normal level by Friday p.m., November 22.
As mitigation for impacts to aquatic species, lake property owners are asked to help salvage mussels during drawdown by walking along their shorelines and gently tossing stranded mussels five or ten feet back into the water. (Please note that only mussels, and not the small Asian clams need to be salvaged.) A mussel salvage event planned for Saturday morning, November 9, will also organize volunteers to salvage mussels at specified locations around the lake.
For the continuation of drawdown, it is critical we collect information on how many landowners use drawdown, and how many mussels are salvaged during drawdown. For that reason, we have included a drawdown response card for you to complete and mail to FOCL. You may also go online to FOCL\’s website at www.focl.org and provide the information electronically on the form provided there. Please note that name, lake and email addresses are optional. It is important, however, that we capture the amount and type of drawdown work done, number of mussels salvaged and an approximate length of shoreline if available.
The Friends of Claytor Lake will be mailing all homeowners this information along with a survey card closer to the drawdown date. Please be sure to either fill out that card and mail back in or fill out the form that will be posted on our site in November.
Last night The Friends of Claytor Lake started with newly elected President Steve Rapp. As his first order of business, Steve thanked Cheri Strenz for all her years of service and as President of FOCL gifting her a military style challenge coin for Veteran\’s Fishing Day and flowers. Cheri, having grown up on Claytor Lake, has been part of FOCL since 2007 and serving as President for the past 4 years. Her dedication to FOCL and Claytor Lake has led her to be very instrumental in FOCL\’s direction and success. Cheri will continue to serve on FOCL\’s board and work on all the programs and projects FOCL performs every year for Claytor Lake.
Dredging has now become available for property owners on Claytor Lake. Thanks to the diligence of 15 residents in the upper part of Claytor Lake, a dredging company has been contracted from Lake Norman in North Carolina to facilitate all the permitting and dredging operations.
In conjunction with this year’s upcoming drawdown, now is the time to get involved with this group and your neighbors to contract dredging in your areas.
For info or help submitting your dredging permit contact:
The Army Corp of Engineers has designated any siltation or vegetation that has topped out above the water level as wetlands. These areas can not be dredged when considering your area for permitting.