Aerial View of East Branch Clarion River Lake Dam

East Branch Clarion River Lake

631 East Branch Dam Road
Wilcox, PA  15870-9709
(814) 965-2065

Icon and link to East Branch facebook page Rumor Control button links to list of rumors and facts

            3-day Reservoir Forecast


The East Branch Dam Repair contract has been awarded click here for more information

Authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1944, East Branch Clarion River Lake is one of 16 flood control projects in the Pittsburgh District. An important link in a system of flood control projects, East Branch provides flood protection for the Clarion River Valley as well as the lower Allegheny and upper Ohio Rivers.

East Branch Lake has the capability to store the equivalent run-off of 21.84 inches of precipitation from its 72.4 square mile drainage area. Since its completion in 1952, East Branch Dam has prevented flood damages estimated to be more than $98 million. If all previous years’ benefits are estimated to current dollar value, then the cumulative flood risk management benefits provided by East Branch is equivalent to $456 million. The dam’s capacity to reduce flood damages was dramatically demonstrated during the June 1972 floods resulting from Tropical Storm Agnes when more than $20 million in damages were prevented by East Branch alone, equivalent to $139 million in today’s dollar value. The average annual flood risk management benefits at East Branch are estimated at $6.5 million. When compared to the flood control benefits which have resulted, the construction costs of $9 million appear small.

East Branch also stores water to be released downstream during dry periods. These releases of water have the effect of improving water quality and quantity for domestic and industrial use, navigation, recreation, aesthetics and aquatic life.

Since issues with the dam were found in 2008, the Pittsburgh District has implemented various interim risk reduction measures, one of which was to lower the summer and winter pool levels in order to reduce hydraulic loads on and within the dam embankment. This interim water control plan reduces the normal recreation pool of 1670 NVGD to 1650 NGVD and a target winter pool level of 1623 NGVD. This current measure will continue to be undertaken until a dam safety long-range strategy implemented. Go to East Branch Interim Risk Reduction Project page.

Recreation, Events, Facilities & Activities

The corps-managed boat launch will open April 3, 2021.

The public is encouraged to contact East Branch Lake or visit the Pittsburgh District’s Water Management website here

DCNR Instanter boat launch information can be found at Elk State Park’s website

The campground, Overlook, and day use areas at East Branch Clarion River Lake are targeted to be open for Memorial Day weekend 2021.  Once we reopen, the dam will be open to foot traffic only.  The lake is continuing to fill up and we hope to return to normal pool As soon as possible.

East Branch no longer charges a boat launch use fee.

Please pay attention to our webpage and our Facebook page for updates concerning our reservation system etc.


In the heart of Elk County and scenic upper Clarion River Valley, the US Army Corps of Engineers at East Branch Lake invites you to visit and enjoy the ideal setting for a variety of recreational experiences.

East Branch Lake with its clean, clear and deep waters offers anglers the opportunity to harvest tiger muskellunge, smallmouth bass, walleye or lake trout. Try fly fishing in the delayed harvest area below the dam on the East Branch of the Clarion River to see if you can land a trophy trout. If you are a cold weather enthusiast you will enjoy ice fishing during the winter months.

Enjoy the natural beauty and unlimited opportunities for water based recreation on East Branch Lake. East Branch Lake offers unlimited horsepower, secluded bays to anchor and enjoy the unspoiled scenery.            

Hunting is prohibited on federal property, however adjacent to East Branch Lake is Elk State Forest and game lands that will provide the hunter with abundant game such as deer, turkey, bear and small game.

Current Events
East Branch Clarion River Lake hosts a Project/Community Affairs public meeting in the spring and fall of every year. The meeting's focus is to exchange information regarding the management of the natural, cultural and developed resources in the public interest.                        



 Facilities & Activities 


Drinking Water   X
Launching Ramp X X
Picnic Area   X
Restroom Facilities X X
Accessible Restroom    


East Branch Lake News Releases

Army Corps to reopen East Branch Dam with ribbon-cutting ceremony, open-house for public
The Pittsburgh District will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony and an open house at the East Branch Clarion River Lake May 27 to mark the completion of the cutoff wall construction and dam repairs that began in 2014. The event also marks the district’s plans to return normal pool levels per the lake’s Water Control Manual.
East Branch Dam Safety Modification Project Returning to normal operations, weather permitting
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District announces its intent to return East Branch Dam, located in Wilcox, Pennsylvania, to pre-2008 normal operations.
Boat Launch Ramp to Close, Dam Face Work Continues
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District’s East Branch Lake Dam announces its boat launch ramp will close Monday, Aug. 24 due to falling lake levels and urges continued caution to travelers as dam construction work continues.