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Founded in 2005 our mission is to obtain a consistent release of coldwater (55 Deg F) from the Francis E Walter Reservoir (FEW) through better utilization of FEW’s storage capacity and discharge options, in an effort to improve overall flows, protect habitat and enhance the Lehigh River’s wild trout fishery.


  1. Assist the Army Corps of Engineers -Philadelphia District (ACOE) to obtain federal funding for the performance of necessary studies and modeling to determine the maximum lake elevation that will not jeopardize the primary purpose of FEW, which is flood control. Studies and Modeling are to focus on the following​

    • To sustain a release of 55 deg F water from FEW​.

    • Sustain a release of water not to exceed 65 deg F during white water release weekends (22 days).

    • Investigate optimal minimum releases and the required volume of the coldwater pool to sustain releases during the critical summer months necessary for trout survival.

    • Investigate optimal minimum releases and the required volume of the coldwater pool to sustain releases during the critical summer months necessary for trout survival.

  2. Provide assistance in obtaining a non-federal sponsor for necessary studies and modeling​

  3. Provide assistance to ACOE in the development of a “Scope of Work” prior to initiation of necessary studies and modeling.

  4. Provide awareness of economic benefits to operational changes with FEW to Congressional and State Legislators as well as local governments and chambers of commerce.

  5. Obtain support from various user groups of the Lehigh River.


Board of Directors 

  • Jake Markezin

  • Bob Bachman

  • Dean Druckenmiller

  • Paul Kanaskie

  • Dan Rudluff

  • Joe DeMarkis

  • John Mosovsky

  • Nick Raftas 

  • Mike Stanislaw 

Other Stakeholders Organizations For the Lehigh River 


F.E.W Dam Annual Flow Plans 

LCFA has worked with the ACOE and others to obtain the best utilization of the annual recreational water storage within the F.E.W reservoir, for the purposes of sustaining and enhancing the wild trout populations below the dam. Numerous meetings and workshops along with negations with various stakeholders has resulted in annual flow plan (reviewed every 3 years) 

Lehigh River Water Quality Model - Phase I & II 

Assisted in obtaining direction and funding for a colder water release study. The Study modeled various release scenarios from Francis E. Walter Dam, which included different lake levels and tower modifications, and what impact the numerous downstream coldwater tributaries might have on preserving the coldwater down through the roadless Lehigh Gorge State Park and beyond. 

Study  Information Page

Fish Creel Studies 

2006 to Present - LCFA conducts creel surveys for tracking the number, location, and type of trout being caught on the Lehigh River. 

Opening of the F.E.W. Dam Road  

July 6, 2005 - Lehigh Coldwater Fishery Alliance President, Dean Druckenmiller; Board Member, Bob Bachman; and Officer, Jake Markezin, were all in attendance for the Road Opening Ceremony at Francis E Walter back on July 6. This event celebrated the newly constructed road across the breast of the Francis E Walter Dam. The event was hosted by the Army Corps Philly District and was attended by quite a few dignitaries including Congressman Paul Kanjorski. Finally, after 44 years the Corps does not need to evacuate water from FEW to keep the 'lower dam road' open. In the past, prior to this year, any lake elevation above 1,309' would inundate the 'lower lake road,' forcing it to close. This was one of the reasons water could never be stored for extended periods of time as well as for recreational purposes. That was all to change.

Dam road.jpg


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