ANNUAL MAINTENANCE OF LAKE HOPATCONG LOWERS
(04/127) Landing -- Today, the Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) will begin the annual
lowering of Lake Hopatcong for inspections and repairs,
as well as to protect surrounding lake structures from winter
"Lowering the lake protects the seawall and docks
throughout the winter season," said Commissioner Campbell.
"Local residents who live along the lake can take advantage
of this opportunity to repair their own docks in preparation
for the winter months."
Lake Hopatcong's water level will gradually be lowered
26 inches to allow the DEP to inspect the Lake Hopatcong
Dam. The lake will remain at this lowered level through
March 15, 2005.
Permits are required from the park office for local residents
to conduct simple maintenance or to repair existing structures
that are below the water line. Complex maintenance and installation
of new docks require local building permits and could require
freshwater wetlands and stream encroachment permits.
Last year, Lake Hopatcong was lowered five feet based on
its five-year interval plan for repairs to seawalls and
docks and for vegetation control. When the cleanup was finished
a total of 9,620 pounds of metal debris was taken from the
lake; and 3,041 discarded tires and 200 bags of litter were
removed. The next five-foot drawdown is scheduled for 2008.
The Lake Hopatcong Commission oversees and safeguards the
natural, scenic and recreational resources of the Lake.
Nine miles in length and covered by 2,686 acres of freshwater,
Lake Hopatcong is the largest lake in New Jersey and the
focal point of Hopatcong State Park.
The lake's water level is maintained according to the Lake
Hopatcong Water Level Management Plan.