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The Buckeye Lake Dam Dilemma – What it Means for the 2015 Tournament Season

By now, you’ve probably heard the news about Buckeye Lake.

According to a report by the US Army Corps of Engineers, the 4 mile earthen dam that impounds the 2,800 acre lake is at risk of failing. For several weeks after the news of the report became public, there was much speculation amongst Ohio’s bass fishing community as to how the issues with the dam would impact their ability to launch a boat on this phenomenal spring bass fishery. Would the lake be drained permanently? Was there a temporary fix that would allow the lake to be brought up to summer pool? Who would pay for the dam to be repaired?

Check out this video showing the history of the Buckeye Lake dam and how problems have developed:

Although many questions are still unanswered, last week Governor Kasich announced that the State of Ohio would pay for the repairs to the dam, which he estimates will cost between $120 and $150 million dollars and will take up to 5 years to complete.

As a result of this news, most of Ohio’s tournament circuits have decided to remove Buckeye Lake from their 2015 schedules. Most notably, the 6th Annual Vance Outdoors Open tournament that was scheduled for April 4th has been cancelled.

If the State ends up keeping water levels at winter pool over the course of the dam repairs, how will it impact the fish living in the lake? At this point, not much is being said about that issue. Once more information is available, I will provide an update.

 

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