NRC Board Members join Friends of Claytor Lake to help Mussels

NRC Board Members join Friends of Claytor Lake to help Mussels

On Saturday, November 4, Board Chair, Catherine Cotrupi, and past Chair, Laura Walters, joined over 100 volunteers from environmental, local government, colleges and youth groups participate in the 2023 mussel salvage event during the November 4-12 Claytor Lake drawdown.  Claytor Lake was created with the completion of Claytor Dam on the New River in 1939.  The next drawdown will be November 2025. %title - IMG 8725 1

Drawdowns occur when the Appalachian Power Company, at the request of The Friends of Claytor Lake (FOCL) and in consultation with local government, and state and federal agencies, implement a scheduled lowering of the lake level to enable property owners to do maintenance and clean up along the lake’s shoreline. Drawdown activities usually involve debris clean up, repairs to shoreline structures, and shoreline stabilization.

A 5 foot drawdown has been approved for this November 4-12 to enable property owners to do shoreline maintenance and clean up. Drawdown  began Wednesday, Nov 1 at 1:30 1.5 feet per day and will continue until the lake reaches the 1841 elevation (5 feet down) where it will remain until 10 p.m., Sunday, Nov 12 when it refilling will begin.

As mitigation for drawdown, property owners are encouraged to walk along exposed shorelines and gently toss stranded mussels into deeper water. To support continued drawdowns, please report the number of mussels you save and your use of drawdown on the postcard in Appalachian’s September drawdown notification letter, or on FOCL’s website.

FOCL encourages salvaging stranded mussels during drawdown by gently tossing them into deeper water. To support continued drawdowns, FOCL also collects data on mussel salvage efforts and drawdown use, and asks that you report your salvage activities!

For questions, contact AEP’s Lisa Hammock at or 540-489-2556; COE’s Chester Bigelow at; and Pulaski County at 540-980-7710. FOCL can also be contacted at or 540-395-FOCL.  Past drawdown reports are found here.

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