Raystown Lake Drawdown

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District
Published Oct. 7, 2022
Updated: Oct. 7, 2022
Work crews are at work replacing steel I-beams at James Creek during the 2021 drawdown of Raystown Lake. One man stands on the top of the structure, while another works from a ladder and a third stands on the ground.

Work crews replacing steel I-beams at James Creek during the 2021 drawdown.

The boat ramp at Aitch is shown out of the water during the 2021 Raystown Lake drawdown. Orange traffic cones block the dried out ramp from traffic while repairs are completed.

During the 2021 drawdown, the boat ramp at Aitch was repaired. Similar repairs will be done this year at Tatman Run.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, has begun a controlled lake drawdown from summer pool elevation 786’ NGVD to a target of 8 feet below at 778’ NGVD, which will occur incrementally throughout the months of October and November.   

Current projections estimate that the lake will reach the first target elevation of 783’ (a 3-foot drop from summer pool) on or before October 15, 2022. The lake will remain at this elevation until at least November 11, 2022, at which point the lake will be incrementally lowered to the second target elevation of 778’ NGVD (a 8-foot drop from summer pool) by approximately November 30, 2022.

These projections are based on little to no rainfall in the coming months and therefore subject to change based on fluctuating inflow levels.

Although USACE performed a drawdown in 2021 and will be drawing the lake down again year, it is important to note that drawdowns are not an annual activity. Lowering the lake level allows USACE and other partnering agencies, such as the PA Fish and Boat Commission, the Friends of Raystown Lake, and concessionaire operated marinas to complete important projects in areas that are typically underwater and/or inaccessible.

The drawdown last year provided the opportunity to identify facilities in need of improvement and generate a plan for repairs, which will be accomplished during this year’s drawdown. Some of these projects include repairing the shoreline in Nancy’s Camp, repairing the boat ramp at Tatman Run, replacing the courtesy dock at Weaver Falls, aquatic invasive research, debris removal, and more.

After the 8-foot target drawdown level has been reached, it is anticipated that the lake will remain at elevation 778’ NGVD throughout December. After improvement projects and other work has been completed, the lake elevation will return to summer pool through natural runoff. The rate at which the lake level will rise and date that the lake will return to summer pool is contingent on precipitation.

Visitors should anticipate closures after November 11, 2022 at some Raystown Lake facilities due to maintenance and/or unsafe launching conditions caused by low-water levels, including Seven Points, Aitch, Tatman Run, and Weaver Falls Boat Launches.

Snyder’s Run, James Creek and Shy Beaver Boat Launches are expected to remain open throughout the duration of the drawdown.

Please monitor the Raystown Lake webpage and Raystown Lake’s Facebook page for closure information and updates.   If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Raystown Lake Ranger Office at 814-658-3405 x0.


Allen Gwinn

Release no. 22-029