It’s Woodglen Lake’s turn.
In 2014, Huntsman Lake was drained for engineering work performed on the dam. There was nothing wrong with the dam. The lake’s emergency spillway just needed to be upgraded to meet new state regulations. Since the water had to be drained to replace the riser as part of that project, the county took that opportunity to dredge the lakebed.
Thirteen-acre Woodglen Lake in the headwaters of Pohick Creek is similar to Huntsman; however, Woodglen’s emergency spillway was rehabilitated in 2010. The county plans to dredge Woodglen in 2015 as part of a project that will enhance the lake and surrounding site to make the lake more efficient at its job – trapping sediment. The changes also will make future maintenance dredging easier.
Just as at Huntsman before work began there, a fish save was conducted at Woodglen on November 11, 2014, to salvage as many Woodglen fish as possible. Ecologist Shannon Curtis of Fairfax County’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) says the vendor who provided the electrofishing service had a beautiful day to work. “More than 550 adult fish and several hundred juveniles were captured. Bluegill dominated the sample at about 90 percent, with largemouth bass, crappie, red ear sunfish, banded killifish, a few minnows and a couple bullhead catfish rounding out the numbers,” Curtis said. “There were some very surprisingly large predators in this little lake/pond.”
Officials took photos of a pair of hefty largemouth bass and a crappie that topped three pounds. Most of the captured fish were transported to and released into Lake Accotink in Springfield. Curtis says there may be another attempt to move more Woodglen Lake fish in the spring of 2015.
Plans also call for Lake Royal to be dredged in the near future, but there’s no time frame established. That project does not yet have a cost estimate, engineering design or a disposal site to put the spoils removed during the dredging.
Meanwhile, Project Manager Matt Meyers of DPWES says the work at Huntsman Lake is complete and the water reached full pool again at 242 feet above sea level on the morning of Dec. 4, 2014. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries began restocking the lake in November with an initial stocking of 8,100 bluegill, 5,400 red ear sunfish and 1,400 channel catfish fingerlings.
“The completion of the Huntsman Spillway rehabilitation project marks a major milestone,” Myers said. The wrap-up of work at Huntsman means that all five county lake dams that fall under the state law that regulates the maintenance and operation of those facilities now meet current dam safety requirements.
Woodglen project partners are Fairfax County and the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District. For more information about the project, contact the county’s Braddock District Office at 703-425-9300, TTY 711.
More background on the Woodglen project is available on the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service website.
Author David Ochs is the manager of stewardship communications for the Resource Management Division of the Fairfax County Park Authority.