Dam tour

Residents should make their reservation soon to spend Oct. 5 on a guided tour of Kinzua Dam and the Allegheny National Fish Hatchery located at its base. To attend this event presented by Audubon Community Nature Center, people need clearance by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to take part.

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — Audubon Community Nature Center (ACNC) is presenting an event that is so exclusive people have to get government clearance to participate.

On Oct. 5, you can spend the day in behind-the-scenes tours of Kinzua Dam and the Allegheny National Fish Hatchery.

Reservations are required by Sept. 24, but spaces could fill up before then.

Guests will begin the day at 8:30 a.m. with a guided tour inside the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Allegheny National Fish Hatchery. Located at the base of USACE’s Kinzua Dam in Warren County, Pa., the hatchery is one of 11 National Fish Hatcheries working to restore, enhance and maintain heritage fisheries throughout the Northeast Region. The Allegheny Hatchery produces lake trout for restoration in Lakes Erie and Ontario.

Following the hatchery tour ACNC guests will enjoy a rare, scenic drive across the top of Kinzua Dam followed by a picnic lunch at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Visitor Center. Lunch is BYO or participants can order a box lunch with their registration.

The afternoon tour is inside the heart of Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River. One of the largest dams in the United States east of the Mississippi River, its 26,541-acre Allegheny Reservoir is up to 135 feet deep and extends 25 miles to the north, nearly to Salamanca, N.Y.

At the 2 p.m. completion of the guided tour of the dam, attendees can explore the area on their own. It is only a short walk to the base of the dam where they can experience a cooling mist or do some fishing. Then enjoy a scenic drive east on Route 59 along the reservoir to the Jakes Rocks or Rim Rock Scenic Overlooks.

Be sure to dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. Due to number of steps and amount of walking required, this is not considered a handicap-accessible experience.

Children aged 9 and up are welcome when accompanied by an adult.

Because Kinzua Dam is a secure federal facility, preregistration is required in order to secure clearance from the USACE for admission. Adult visitors (age 18 and older) must be U.S. citizens. To obtain clearance, each adult guest will need to provide 1) full name, 2) date-of-birth, 3) home address, and 4) driver’s license number upon registration. Children need only provide full name and date-of-birth.

The behind-the-scenes tour of Kinzua Dam and the Allegheny National Fish Hatchery is an Audubon Exclusive: a distinctive opportunity and unusual experience created to help fund programs at Audubon Community Nature Center.

Donation to ACNC is $45, and space is limited. An optional box lunch is $10.

Reservations are required by Sept. 24, and can be made by calling (716) 569-2345 during business hours or going online to AudubonCNC.org/Exclusives. Additional details are also on that webpage.

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