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Blue Marsh Lake boating status uncertain throughout Labor Day weekend

Those hoping to get out on Blue Marsh Lake this Labor Day weekend will have to keep their fingers crossed that water levels return to normal after rains from the remnants of Hurricane Ida swelled the central Berks County reservoir.

“The boat launches are definitely going to be closed today (Friday) and all of tomorrow,” Scott D. Sunderland, natural resource manager at Blue Marsh, said Friday morning. “We hope to be able to open them Sunday, but it will depend on the water levels.”

Blue Marsh has three boat launch areas: Dry Brooks in Bern Township, State Hill in Lower Heidelberg Township and Sheidy in Penn Township.

The dam is releasing water now that the Schuylkill River has moved below flood stage. The release is causing some areas of the Stilling Basin to be closed for safety.

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In a statement released Friday, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages Blue Marsh Lake, said the water was 9 feet above the normal summer level.

The swimming beach, which was closed Aug. 26 due to a harmful algal bloom, remains closed.

“When the water returns to normal levels we will do tests to determine the bacteria and algae levels to make sure it is safe and then make a decision on when to open it,” Sunderland said.

Visitors also are advised to avoid contact with the lake water. Children and pets can be particularly susceptible to the toxins that algae blooms can release.

“The land-bound areas of Blue Marsh are open to recreation this weekend,” Sunderland said.

The park is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and has more than 36 miles of trails for biking and hiking and 5,000 acres of land. Admission is free.


Source: Berkshire mont

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