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Water Management







The Pittsburgh District operates and maintains 16 flood control projects.  These are dams which hold a pool of water behind, forming a lake.  Eight earthen, seven concrete and one combination dam store runoff from rainfall and snowmelt events.  The stored runoff is then released in a controlled process to prevent or reduce flood damages throughout the District.

The 16 projects cost approximately $500 million to construct.  Since the first, Tygart Lake, was built in 1938, the projects are estimated to have prevented nearly $10 billion in flood damages.  Besides flood control benefits, these sites provide abundant natural resources and recreation opportunities!

Come visit your public lands in the Pittsburgh District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Pittsburgh District's waters and woodlands await you with abundant recreation opportunities at our 16 flood control projects (lakes), and 23 navigation projects (locks and dams) on the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers.  Recreation opportunities abound on 31,100 acres of adjacent land.

The Pittsburgh District's recreation areas in western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia provide for recreation on the water and recreation around the water.  Boating, canoeing, jet skiing, wind surfing, swimming, fishing, hiking, picnicking, camping and hunting, and other outdoor opportunities are available.

Much of the land acquired by the Pittsburgh District to develop its 16 multi-purpose reservoirs is utilized for recreation and natural resource management.  These programs reflect a dual mission which emphasizes developing recreational opportunities by federal, state and local government and private enterprise.  At the same time, the Corps is committed to protecting natural and cultural resources for future generations.

Corps Park Rangers working at District lakes present a variety of programs to the public geared toward environmental awareness and enhancing public understanding of the Corps and its missions.  Rangers and other District personnel also present similar programs at community events and schools where Freddie the Fish – the District’s water safety mascot – is extremely popular.

There are no entrance fees charged at any Corps of Engineers operated facility.  However, user fees are charged at some designated swimming, camping, boat launching and picnic shelter areas.  Camping fees are based on the type of facilities provided.  A paid camping permit entitles the holder to use any designated day-use facility without paying additional day use fees. Holders of valid federal recreation discount passes will receive a 50% discount on day use and camping fees.  There is no fee for boaters to "lock through" a navigation project.  Picnic shelters are available on a first come, first serve basis but may be reserved for a fee.

Many campsites at four Pittsburgh District lakes – Berlin Lake, Shenango River Lake, Tionesta Lake and Youghiogheny River Lake – can be reserved in advance through the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS), an interagency one-stop center for recreation reservations operated by ReserveAmerica.  Reservations can be made up to six months before arrival by calling the NRRS toll-free at 1-877-444-6777 or through their web site  Campsites at all other Pittsburgh District lakes, as well as other campsites at Berlin, Shenango, Tionesta and Youghiogheny, are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For those interested in recreation opportunities in other areas of the country, the Corps Lakes Gateway provides information about all of the lakeside parks administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Federal Recreation Pass Program

America the Beautiful – the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes

The passage of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004 created a new discount program for Federal agencies.  As a result of this act, the “America the Beautiful – the National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Passes” were created to replace the Golden Eagle, Golden Access and Golden Age Passports as well as the National Parks Pass.  The America the Beautiful – the National Parks and Federal Recreations Lands Pass Program includes four new passes:

·         the Annual Pass, intended to cover entrance and standard amenity fees at Department of Interior and Department of Agriculture, US Forest Service recreation areas;

·         the Volunteer Pass, providing a benefit similar to the Annual Pass but available only to volunteers acquiring 500 hours of service on a cumulative basis starting January 1, 2007;

·         the Senior Pass, available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents age 62 and over; and

·         the Access Pass, available to US citizens or permanent residents with an established permanent medical disability.


The legislation does not authorize the Corps of Engineers full involvement with this new pass program, which was implemented on January 1, 2007.  Corps offices and recreation areas can not sell or issue the America the Beautiful – the National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Passes.  However, the Corps will honor the Senior Pass and the Access Pass at those Corps recreation areas where user fees are charged by granting pass holders and their companions in the same vehicle a 50% discount on day use and camping fees.  This is the same discount that was available to holders of the analogous Golden Age and Golden Access Passports.


 Although the Golden Age and Golden Access Passports are discontinued for all agencies under the new legislation and will no longer be sold or issued, the Corps will also continue to honor valid Golden Age and Golden Access Passports in addition to the new Senior Pass and Access Pass.  Previously issued Golden Age/Access Passports and new Senior/Access Passes are the only forms of documentation acceptable to receive the 50% discount.

The Annual Pass and the Volunteer Pass do not apply to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects because the Corps does not charge entrance fees.

 Additional information on Federal Recreation Passport Programs, including information on how to obtain a pass, can be found on the Corps Lakes Gateway at or through the Federal Lands Recreation web portal at and at

Corps of Engineers Annual Day Use Pass

Fees of up to $4/day are charged at many U.S. Army Corps of Engineers day use areas, including beaches and boat launching ramps.  An annual pass that allows visitors to avoid having to pay day use fees each time they visit is available at the Park Manager’s Office at any site where these fees are charged.  The Corps of Engineers Annual Day Use Pass, consisting of month and year stickers affixed to a plastic tag that is to be hung from the rearview mirror, is valid for 12 months from the month of purchase and is available at a cost of $30 per pass.  Golden Age/Access Passport holders and America the Beautiful - the National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Senior Pass and Access Pass holders may purchase one annual pass at half price.  Duplicate passes will no longer be sold because the hang tag may be used on any vehicle the pass holder owns.  However, more than one Annual Day Use Pass can be purchased at full price if desired.  The plastic tag is to be used for multiple years, with new month and year stickers applied each year.


Annual passes allow entry to any U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operated day use areas nationwide during the 12-month period in which they are valid.  Annual passes do not allow entry to campgrounds or result in reduced camping fees.  Passes will not be replaced without cost unless proof of theft, such as a police report or insurance document specifying the theft of the document, is provided.

Corps Watch” Property Protection Program

"Corps Watch" Hotline:  1-866-413-7970
Up to $1,000 reward!  Callers can remain anonymous!

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District is serving as the test district for “Corps Watch”, a neighborhood crime-watch deterrence program to protect Corps of Engineers assets.  Each year, millions of dollars in property damage are lost due to vandalism, larceny, arson, and environmental and cultural degradation.  This program is designed to heighten public awareness of the seriousness of the impacts of crime within or around dams, lakes, navigational locks, recreational areas and other Corps of Engineers facilities.


To help fight these crimes and reduce operations and maintenance costs, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has received Congressional authority to offer cash rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of individuals causing damage to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property.  Individuals who witness or suspect that a crime has been committed against Corps property are encouraged to use the toll-free number, 1-866-413-7970, to report information of theft, vandalism or any other threats or suspicious activity against Corps property 24-hours a day.  Callers can remain anonymous.  This program does not replace the 911 emergency notification system.


For more information about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District “Corps Watch” Property Protection Program contact the Project Manager at 412-395-7504.

Daily Lake Information

Daily pool and outflow levels, safety messages, recreation information, special events and fishing information are available as recorded telephone messages at most of our reservoir projects.


Berlin Lake



Mosquito Lake


Conemaugh Lake



Shenango Lake


Crooked Creek Lake



Stonewall Jackson Lake


East Branch Lake



Tionesta Lake


Kinzua Dam



Tygart Lake


Loyalhanna Lake



Woodcock Lake


Mahoning Lake



Youghiogheny Lake


M.J. Kirwan Dam





Volunteer Program

Volunteer Clearinghouse:  1-800-865-8337
Give a helping hand!

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Volunteer Clearinghouse is a nationwide, toll free hotline number for individuals who are interested in volunteering their time with the Corps.  By calling the hotline a potential volunteer can express interest in any Corps project nationwide.  The Clearinghouse in turn, gives the individual a point of contact for the area they have requested, as well as written information about volunteer opportunities there.


Callers should be ready to provide information about their interests, talents and the locations they may want to volunteer.


The Clearinghouse also works from the opposite direction. Corps employees needing volunteers can call or send their volunteer vacancies to the Clearinghouse so the information will be available to anyone interested.


The hotline serves as a match maker, pairing up skilled, enthusiastic workers with Corps employees who can use their services, providing both with a memorable experience.  By providing such a valuable service, the Clearinghouse boosts the Corps of Engineers volunteer program as a whole.


Additional information on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Volunteer Clearinghouse is available at

 Recreation Links

Pittsburgh District Lakes and Dams:

Berlin Lake Conemaugh River Lake

Crooked Creek Lake

East Branch Clarion River Lake

Kinzua Dam/Allegheny Reservoir

Loyalhanna Lake

Mahoning Creek Lake

Michael J. Kirwan Dam

Mosquito Creek Lake

Shenango River Lake

Stonewall Jackson Lake

Tionesta Lake

Tygart Lake

Union City Dam

Woodcock Creek Lake

 Youghiogheny River Lake


Recreation On the Water:


Fishing/Ice Fishing

Ice Skating


Watercraft Sports





Recreation Around the Water:



Cross Country Skiing


Horseback Riding



Nature Observing

ORV Riding






Pittsburgh District’s 26,000 square miles include portions of western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, eastern Ohio, western Maryland and southwestern New York.  Our jurisdiction includes more than 328 miles of navigable waterways, 23 navigation locks and dams, 16 multi-purpose flood damage reduction reservoirs, 40 local flood protection projects and other projects to protect and enhance the Nation’s water resources, infrastructure and environment. 

General Information:  Pittsburgh District Public Affairs Office
Technical Point of Contact:
  Page Updated:  September 10, 2008
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