My family is from Huntingdon and I have been around the dam for 43 years. My grandparents had land taken for the new dam in 1970's. I actually
watched houses being bulldozed and burnt to get rid of those that would be under water.
I have never seen a monster in the lake and will not comment one way or the other on Raystown Ray. I fish and swim and did plenty of boating on the
new lake. My dad has a boat shop in the area and we tested plenty of boats on the lake. He does lots of repairs at both Raystown Resort Marina and
Seven Points Marina.
Lake Raystown was formed by the damming of the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River. The other Branch of the Juniata River is the Frankstown Branch,
which becomes the Little Juniata near Alexandria/Petersburg, PA, then joins with the Raystown Branch east of Huntingdon, PA and becomes officially
"Juniata River". The Juniata is formed by many tributaries, all small creeks and streams and the Juniata flows into the Susquehanna River near
Harrisburg, PA. The Susquehanna River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean.
A hydroelectric plant was first in early 1900's and the flooding was still bad so the Army Corp of Engineers took over and built the current dam and
there still is a hydroelectric plant. The depths to the lake with the old dam was 60 feet in some areas. With the current dam, there are spots
over 200 feet deep. I understand there were "fish steps" on the old dam to let spawning fish upstream. I actually have pictures of them, but not
scanned into my computer. So, even with the first dam, upstream of the dam was accessible to underwater fish. When it flooded, the old dam
spillway was under feet of water. Also, along the Juniata (and Little Juniata) is the old canal. This river was used to transport commercial
products in the canal era of time.
We have landlocked salmon in this area, that the state record was caught just below the spillway. I have seen stripers caught on the lake that
weighed 50 pounds - state record caught on the lake of 53 pounds 12 ounces. I also knew an older woman who had her toy poodle (fell overboard) ate
by a large muskie. Record muskie on the lake was 52" long. Since the new dam filled up, fish have grown to huge "monsters". I know that
within the first 5 years, people caught 2 feet long goldfish in the lake, those dumped by families that had to move.
is a picture of the current dam. The earth and rockfill dam extends a lot further to the right than
the picture shows. The dam (earth and rockfill) is 225 feet high. www.jcwp.org...
shows the lake side so you can get an idea of how much water is usually behind all that "dirt".
shows the old dam, downstream side. The building on the left
is the hydroelectric plant that still resides underwater.
I know a couple of caves were submerged when the dam was shut and the water backed up. There was even Sheep Rock Shelter that is now underwater and
was excavated right before the dam was closed to preserve the history of it.
I provided the above info so anyone wondering if Raystown Ray could be real or not has some info on the lake itself.