For those of you who have been following the Wehr’s Dam removal situation, there’s another controversy that has emerged, predominately from Herb Gottschall, Jr., president of Lehigh County Fish & Game Protective Association, the long time host of the annual Junior and Senior Fishing derbies on the Little Lehigh in Lehigh Parkway in Allentown.
In Gottschall’s 2017 newsletter to its members, Gottschall writes about “The Demise of the Little Lehigh and Lower Jordan creeks.” His letter as is follows:
What has happened to the Little Lehigh and Lower Jordan Creeks? Since the Wildlands Conservancy received grants and the City of Allentown gave them permission to remove the dams [on both streams], the water flow is about the same but there’s no depth.
What does this mean? Trout in the 8-inch to 14-inch range might be able to handle the low depth, but larger trout in the 15-inch to 20-inch and above range need at least 2ft. of water. The lower water levels really restrict where the trout can be stocked. Local and out of state fisherman come to the hatchery and complain that they can only fish certain holes and channels, and these are dwindling due to the relocation of sediment caused by the removal of the dams. Out of town fishermen have stated that they aren’t going to waste their time coming back to the area unless stream conditions improve. In the 70’s though the early 90’s, the Little Lehigh Creek was one of the top rated streams on the east coast. Now it barely exists.
When the dam removal process started over 2 years ago, The Wildlands Conservancy promised to install stream improvement devices. As of today, none of the promised devices have been installed. The Conservancy should use the money that was saved by not removing Wehr’s Dam to fund the stream improvement device project. Hopefully, these improvements will bring these vital streams back to their former glory.
If you have any questions or comments send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Meanwhile, the club will continue to try and get some resolution from the Conservancy and/or the City of Allentown,” Gottschall concluded.
For those who have fished many parts of the Little Lehigh, you’ll likely remember two favorite dam areas that were heavily fished. The one was at the area of Robin Hood Bridge in Lehigh Parkway, and the other, upstream from Fish Hatchery Road and the bridge that crosses the creek. Anglers would concentrate at these dams because it was the deepest part of that section of stream, and where the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission would stock the most trout. But since those two dams are gone, trout anglers lost their long-time favorite holes.