Octoraro Lake

32. Octoraro Lake

Introduction

The Octoraro Lakes site is a 2 acre (0.2 ac scrub-shrub, 1.8 acre emergent) wetland creation located on the Lower Susquehanna River - Octoraro Creek (02-12-02-03) watershed of Cecil County.           


Construction

Octoraro Lake was declared by MDE Dam Safety Division as a high-hazard dam, being at risk of failure.  The community was required to either repair or breach the dam.  Since estimates to repair the dam was too expensive, the HOA decided to allow MDE Wetlands and Waterways Division to breach the dam.  In Winter 1999/2000, the Wetlands and Waterways Division, in conjunction with the Dam Safety Division and the Eastern Shore Resource Conservation & Development Council (RC&D), constructed this site.  By breaching the dam to the required elevation, the safety issue of the potential dam failure was resolved and wetlands were created behind the dam.  The site was not planted, but allowed to revegetate naturally.                


Status

While there are some invasive plant species, including Phragmites, Arthraxon, and Microstegium, overall this site has developed into a successful wetland.   Using the newly developed Mitigation Site Scoring Method, MDE gave this site the high score of 95/100.  This site provides good wetland functions including filtering sediment/pollutants, furnishing organic material to the aquatic food web, reducing floodwater flow, and recreational/aesthetic qualities. 


Fringe around the lake

Juncus


Phragmites

Upper wetland 2008


It also provides excellent wildlife habitat, as demonstrated by the presence of deer, beaver, American eel, treefrogs, and turtle eggs. 


American eel

Beaver dam


This site is on HOA land and is not accessible to the public.  Click this link to view an aerial photo and location information.


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