This area includes a 1,150-acre man-made lake used for flood control, water storage, water quality, and recreation. The lake adjoins 7,000 acres of State Game Land 280 with prime habitat/cover. Nearly one quarter of its acreage is forest or woodlands. The lake is fed by the Tulpehocken Creek, which drains a 175 square mile area west of the site. Blue Marsh Lake is located in the Great Valley Section of the Appalachian Valley and Ridge physiographic province. The site also has warm season grass plantings that provide high quality habitat for Barn Owl and Field Sparrow.(PGC SE Region 610-926-3136).

Directions: Located west of Rt. 183 between Reading and Bernville.Approx. 8 miles northwest from Reading on Rt. 183.

Ornithological Summary

The site is located on a flyway used by many migratory waterfowl and songbirds, and is also important to grassland species. Many species can be found at this location, including: Orchard Oriole, Eastern Bluebird, Eastern Meadowlark and various sparrows. Other species include: Bald Eagle, Snow Bunting, American Pipit, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Towhee, American Redstart, Blue-winged Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Ovenbird, Wood Thrush, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Scarlet Tanager, White-eyed Vireo, Veery and Northern Shrike. Migrating gulls include Ring-billed Gull and Herring Gull.

The U.S. Army Corps has been working in conjunction with the PA Game Commission in wildlife management practices. They have installed and maintained food plots, nesting boxes, wildlife viewing areas, bird feeders, and trails. They also employ excellent mowing practices, which allow for the nesting of grassland birds. Warm season grasses have been planted and prescribed burning is used. Volunteers help to maintain and orchard for wildlife.

Conservation Issues

A critical threat to this area is the surrounding over-development, both residential and commercial. There is also heavy recreational usage and disturbance by recreational watercraft, which could effect migratory species and interrupt nesting activity.