Latest News

Army Corps shares details on final recreational water release of season at Francis E. Walter Dam
9/29/2021
The U.S. Army Corps Engineers’ Philadelphia District announced the schedule for the final water release of the recreation season for the Francis E. Walter Dam in White Haven, PA...
Army Corps updates water release schedule for Francis E. Walter Dam
9/14/2021
The U.S. Army Corps Engineers’ Philadelphia District updated the 2021 Francis E. Walter Dam recreation plan. The Army Corps updated the plan, which states whitewater and fisheries releases will be...

Welcome to Francis E. Walter Dam & Reservoir

The Francis E. Walter Dam was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1961 and has prevented more than $220 million in flood damages. It also supports recreation in the Lehigh Valley with planned fishing and whitewater rafting water releases.
Remnants of trees can be found throughout the reservoir from where they once stood before the dam was created. These natural structures provide beneficial habitat for aquatic species when the landscape is under water.
Two commonly seen turtle species in Pennsylvania are the Eastern Painted Turtle (left & far right) and the Red-Eared Slider (middle). The native Painted Turtle competes for food, basking, and nesting areas with the larger non-native Slider which was introduced by people illegally releasing their pet turtles into the wild. To keep our native flora & fauna healthy and thriving, don’t release pets into the wild and choose native plants for your landscaping.
The Francis E. Walter Dam has prevented more than $220 million in flood damages since its construction. It also supports recreation along the Lehigh River with planned fishing and whitewater rafting water releases.
The red-spotted purple butterfly is common to Pennsylvania, it is a beautiful forest butterfly that is commonly seen in the woodland area surrounded by Francis E. Walter Dam.
Bald eagles require habitat with large water and forest resources to provide them with fish for food and trees for building their nests. Exclusive to North America, bald eagles can be found at all of the Northern Area Dam & Reservoir Projects.
As visitors drive along the entrance roadway, they are greeted with a spectacular view of dam tower, reservoir, and surrounding landscape when they reach the dam.
Open cliff faces and fractured rock within the southerly facing tree line area at Francis E. Walter Dam provide prime habitat for rattlesnakes. Students from East Stroudsburg University have studied the rattlesnake population at the project.
Double-crested Cormorants are a common site at large inland lakes and reservoirs across North America. They forage for their favorite food, small fish, by diving below the surface and swimming. Unfortunately, they can often mistake lost fishing lures as food and end up entangled in the attached fishing line or hooks. Making sure you dispose of fishing waste properly helps keep them and other species safer from harm.

Francis E. Walter Dam was constructed in 1961 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The dam was primarily built for flood risk management, but recreation became a Congressionally-authorized purpose in 1988. F.E. Walter Dam operates as a system in conjunction with Beltzville Dam, located in Lehighton PA, to reduce flooding in the downstream communities along the Lehigh River. Since its construction, the F.E. Walter Dam has prevented more than $245 million in flood damages to the Lehigh River Valley.

In recent years, funding was used to upgrade roads, upgrade electric, repair cracks in the intake tower, repair concrete on the gravity wall and outlet structure, and grout the dam to address seepage issues.

Since 2005, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Delaware River Basin Commission, and stakeholders from both the nonprofit and private sectors, has employed a collaborative approach to managing flows out of the Francis E. Walter Dam into the Lehigh River.

Subject to the project’s primary mission of flood damage reduction, Francis E. Walter Dam Flow Management Working Group seeks to strike an optimal balance among legitimate yet sometimes competing interests in terms of natural resource management and recreational opportunities. Central to the group’s effort is development each year of a flow management plan that builds upon prior year success while identifying and incorporating areas of potential improvement.

Public involvement is key to the continued success of this program. The public is encouraged to provide us feedback and tell us how we can better serve them through this website. Please check in here regularly for process updates as well as to share your comments, concerns, data, and questions.