Friday, July 7, 2017

Eel Program Helps Mitigate Impact Of Muddy Run Pumped Storage Generation Project

The Muddy Run Pumped Storage Electric Generation Project is a hydroelectric project on the eastern shore of the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County.
It is licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and its operation requires a Water Quality Certification from DEP, which DEP issued in 2014.
Pumping water from the river and then discharging water to generate power can adversely affect aquatic life and water quality.
The fluctuating water levels in the river can also have negative impacts on migratory species, such as the American shad and the American eel.
As compensation for the impacts to the aquatic life, the operator, Exelon, is mitigating those impacts by implementing a program to trap eels at two separate facilities -- on the Octoraro Creek in Chester County, and below the Conowingo Dam in Maryland.
Eels are trapped and then transported to multiple locations in the Susquehanna watershed.
Most recently, the eels have been released in Conewago Creek in Dauphin and Lancaster counties, Beaver Creek in Dauphin County, and the north branch of Muddy Creek in York County.
The trapping takes place daily from May 1 until September 15, with transporting occurring at least once per week during that period.  
This year, 26,000 eels have been collected and stocked in Pennsylvania waters. Eels are a host species to freshwater mussels and play an important role in water quality filtering in local streams and rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.
They have been largely absent in the watershed since the first dams on the lower Susquehanna were constructed.
For more information on DEP programs, visit DEP’s website, Click Here to sign up for DEP’s monthly newsletter, visit DEP’s Blog,  Like DEP on Facebook, Follow DEP on Twitter and visit DEP’s YouTube Channel.
(Reprinted from the July 6 DEP News and Views newsletter. Click Here to sign up for your own copy.)
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