A favorite lake of fishermen in Cumberland County has been filled with water and stocked with trout.
Opossum Lake had been drained for more than three years while a hazardous dam was torn down and a new spillway was constructed.
Among the rolling farmland of Lower Frankford Township west of Carlisle, the 59 acre body of water is tucked away. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission drained it in 2008, after a routine inspection discovered the spillway was cracked.
The lake and surrounding park land is more than 274 acres. The cost of repairs was not cheap coming in at nearly $3.4 million.
State Senator Pat Vance was impressed with the cooperation. "It's probably the best example I've ever seen. A phone to your group of local government and the state to work together to create this beautiful serene place for everyone."
Lower Frankford Township has agreed to maintain the area, making it the municipality's first park. Supervisor Chairman James Burkholder says as funds become available, the township will add other improvements, but on Friday, he was excited to see the lake filled. "I am glad to see it full. It's been a long drawn out process, longer than I would've liked. At least now we got water back in it."
What's a lake with water, but no fish? That problem was corrected Friday morning too.
The Fish and Boat Commission saw to it that 3,000, mostly rainbow trout, found a new home. As the weather and water temperature warms up other fish, including Bass will be added.
Volunteer Ed Franco says the place brings back pleasant memories. "There's been a lots of stories of little kids and grandfathers and grandkids coming out, seeing that is one wonderful art of it coming back".
Opossum Lake also offers visitors a four mile, windy walking trail. Hundreds of species of native wildlife call the lake and surrounding areas home.
One week from tomorrow is the opening day of Trout season. The shore is expected to be shoulder-to-shoulder men, women and children.
The ceremonial first cast will happen at 8 a.m. next Saturday.