GREENBRIER - The string of three fat rainbow trout that Mike Demart and Charles Brust were showing off Saturday afternoon offered evidence the fishing is good again at Greenbrier Lake.
The lake was drained 18 months ago so crews at Greenbrier State Park on U.S. 40 between Hagerstown and Frederick, Md., could repair a 35-year-old control valve. After that, last year's dry weather never brought enough rain to return the lake water to its normal level.
While fishing was not banned, the low water discouraged sportsmen and forced park officials to ban swimming for the summer. Park attendance dropped by more than half, to about 200,000 visitors, officials said. Revenue also dropped.
The fish survived the drought in a 9-foot deep, three-acre pool.
This winter's snows and spring rains returned the lake to its proper level.
Fishing was banned last week while crews dumped an estimated 3,500 trout into the lake for the 2000 fishing season.