Fishing, boating restricted at Holtwood Dam

To help protect public safety as PPL prepares for the start of construction at the Holtwood hydroelectric plant, PPL has announced restrictions on fishing and boating activities near the plant, effective this week.

The tailrace, the area where river water leaves the power plant, will be closed to shoreline fishing until construction is completed in 2013. Boating in the area from the Norman Wood Bridge into the tailrace also will be restricted because of construction.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved a request by PPL Holtwood, LLC, to add 125 megawatts of clean, renewable electric generating capacity at the plant. The estimated $440 million project would add enough new renewable energy generation to power 100,000 homes, improve fish lifts that enable migratory fish to reach spawning areas upstream along the Susquehanna River and its tributaries, and create nearly 200 construction jobs.

“We realize the tailrace area is a popular spot to fish,” said John Levitski, PPL’s regional community relations director. “This decision was made for safety reasons as we prepare for the expansion project at Holtwood.”

Shoreline fishing will remain available nearby at Safe Harbor and Muddy Run during this period.

The Holtwood expansion project will result in improvements to recreational facilities, including improved access for fishing, parking closer to the river, a new shoreline fishing pier and areas that can be accessed by people with physical limitations.

Holtwood has been generating electricity since 1910. Currently, it generates 108 megawatts using the power of the water held back by a 55-foot-high dam. The dam creates Lake Aldred, an 8-mile reservoir that provides opportunities for boating, fishing and other public recreation. PPL operates two campgrounds, 39 miles of hiking trails, several picnic areas, and other facilities including the well-known Shenk’s Ferry Wildflower Preserve and Lock 12 Historic Area.

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