Conservation officer wants safer, more accessible site by Lyndonville Dam
LYNDONVILLE – It’s one of the area’s most picturesque spots, and it also is a popular fishing hole.
The section in front of the Lyndonville Dam along Johnson Creek also is dangerous, with loose soil and a rocky embankment.
Vernon Fonda moved to Lyndonville about six months ago. He works as a conservation officer for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Fonda loves the Lyndonville community. He is president of the PTA, is joining the Lions Club and enjoys the area’s natural resources.
The spot by the dam needs to be stabilized to prevent further erosion, and he wants to make it easier for fishermen to use the site.
“Johnson Creek is world renowned,” Fonda said. “If we make the site safer it will increase tourism.”
He is trying to line up support in the community for the project. He said boulders, a floating dock, ramp with a railing, fencing, a kiosk to list fish that can be caught at the site, and other improvements are all under consideration.
Mayor Steve McAvoy welcomes Fonda’s input and energy in making the site more stable and safer. McAvoy said the village will need to work with the Army Corps of Engineers, DEC, Soil and Water Conservation District and other agencies that will all need to sign off on any work at the site.
“He’s really taken the bull by the horns,” McAvoy said about Fonda.
The village of Lyndonville owns the lands by the property. Erosion has been a concern, especially as the pace has quickened in the past six months or so, McAvoy said.
The dam is at an angle where the creek hits the embankment hard, especially after big rains or snow melts.
“It’s tremendous the force in there,” said Terry Woodworth, the village DPW superintendent.
The village looked at a stabilization project a few years ago and it was about $350,000 then and there were questions whether it would work, Woodworth said.
“It won’t be an easy fix,” he said.
The village would like to see the upper pond dredged, and the flood gates and piping repaired by the dam.
Woodworth is grateful Fonda sees the potential at the site, and has got the community interested in it. Fonda has connected with government officials, service organizations and local individuals and businesses about the project.
“Vern has got people looking at it,’” Woodworth said.
Fonda also has been trying to improve public fishing access along the creek downstream.
“This started as a stabilization project and now it includes making the area more accessible to fishermen,” Fonda said.