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Maryland Department of Natural Resources drains Brownsville pond

August 16, 2012|By ANDREW SCHOTZ |
  • Brownsville Community Pond is being drained due to erosion.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

An earthen dam has eroded to the point that it might collapse, DNR wrote in a news release.

By Tuesday, DNR had removed most of the water from the pond, which is about 0.8 acres, said Don Cosden, the director of DNR’s Inland Fisheries Division.

Cosden did not know when the dam will be fixed and the pond refilled. That depends on an engineering estimate of the work and how long it would take to secure funding, he said.

The pond, which is off Md. 67, is considered a “fisheries management area.” The state mostly maintains it, Cosden said, but the community uses it to fish for catfish, bass, bluegill and black crappies.

The state stocks the pond each year for a children’s fishing rodeo.

Last year, DNR noticed that a small stream that flows along the base of the dam was causing erosion, Cosden said.

DNR asked the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Dam Safety Program to look at the Brownsville pond.

MDE reported “serious problems” and recommended that the state fix them or drain the pond, Cosden said.

A few weeks ago, DNR noticed that the erosion was getting worse.

“We needed to jump on it immediately,” Cosden said.

DNR started draining the pond last week. Fish were relocated. The pond was nearly empty earlier this week.

Cosden did not know Tuesday when the state would be able to fix the dam.

Engineers are working on an estimate. Cosden guessed that it could cost between $100,000 and $150,000.

If that were the cost, the project might rise to the level of a capital project, requiring the approval of the state Board of Public Works.

Currently, there is no money available for the repairs, Cosden said.

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