Officials Discuss Fishway Near Raftsman Dam

CLEARFIELD – Officials from Clearfield Borough, the Riverwalk Committee, the Curwensville Angler’s Restocking Program and the state and federal government’s met to discuss the possibility of a fish ladder at the R. Dudley Tonkin Rafstman Dam in Clearfield.

The addition of a fishway would help fish in their breeding cycle as well as in their feeding cycles, according to Stacy Bressler of CARP.

“It will be good for fish of all species.”

Dick Quinn, hydrolic engineer for the United States Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service studied the areas of the river near JG Food Warehouse and CVS. Quinn took measurments and discussed the style of fishway that would be best suited for the river.

Quinn estimated that the project would cost between $250,000 to $300,000.Grants for the project have been pursuied by Bressler. According the Rob Swales of the Clearfield Borough Riverwalk Committee, the project will tie into the proposed riverwalk. He also added that the committee is looking at possible observation areas on the fish ladder as well. Clearfield Borough Council member Joan McMillen mentioned at one point that the fish ladder could be used for educational purposes.

Those present discussed some items they felt might impact the fishway. One of those items was the pumping station for the Bionol Clearfield ethanol plant that will be located near CVS. Quinn said that if the intake is done correctly, fish would not be in danger from the intake pipe. He also noted that the amount of water that 1.98 million gallons of water that the plant will be taking in daily is minimal. During a low flow, like on Tuesday, that would amount to roughly two percent of the river.

“That’s a lot of water in your living room,” said Quinn. “But not here.”

Quinn and some of those gathered also went to the Shawville Power Plant to discuss the possibility of a fishway at the powerplant’s dam.

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