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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 1, 2004

Contact: Elaine Makatura (609) 292-2994
Dana Loschiavo (609) 984-1423

ANNUAL MAINTENANCE OF LAKE HOPATCONG LOWERS LEVEL

(04/127) Landing -- Today, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will begin the annual lowering of Lake Hopatcong for inspections and repairs, as well as to protect surrounding lake structures from winter ice damage.

"Lowering the lake protects the seawall and docks throughout the winter season," said Commissioner Campbell. "Local residents who live along the lake can take advantage of this opportunity to repair their own docks in preparation for the winter months."

Lake Hopatcong's water level will gradually be lowered 26 inches to allow the DEP to inspect the Lake Hopatcong Dam. The lake will remain at this lowered level through March 15, 2005.

Permits are required from the park office for local residents to conduct simple maintenance or to repair existing structures that are below the water line. Complex maintenance and installation of new docks require local building permits and could require freshwater wetlands and stream encroachment permits.

Last year, Lake Hopatcong was lowered five feet based on its five-year interval plan for repairs to seawalls and docks and for vegetation control. When the cleanup was finished a total of 9,620 pounds of metal debris was taken from the lake; and 3,041 discarded tires and 200 bags of litter were removed. The next five-foot drawdown is scheduled for 2008.

The Lake Hopatcong Commission oversees and safeguards the natural, scenic and recreational resources of the Lake.

Nine miles in length and covered by 2,686 acres of freshwater, Lake Hopatcong is the largest lake in New Jersey and the focal point of Hopatcong State Park.

The lake's water level is maintained according to the Lake Hopatcong Water Level Management Plan.

 

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