US Army Corps of Engineers
Philadelphia District & Marine Design Center Website

Latest News

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...
Army Corps to draw down reservoirs at Francis E. Walter Dam and Blue Marsh Lake in advance of Hurricane Ida
8/30/2021
The U.S. Army Corps Engineers Philadelphia District has announced it will draw down the reservoirs at Blue Marsh Lake and Francis E. Walter Dam in preparation for significant forecasted rainfall...

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.
Whats Left of the Tree
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.
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.

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.