LEE WIDJESKOG'S UPDATES ON SOUTH JERSEY LAKES
SEPTEMBER 18, 2002

General Info -- Lee has a staff of about a dozen guys.  They are very limited as to how many projects they can undertake each year.  Lee said he is always interested in hearing about lakes and ponds that people or companies may be interested in donating or selling to the State.  Likewise, he is interested in hearing about any properties that may be available (e.g., closed marinas) that can provide public access to NJ waters.  The State already has a number of deals in the works for acquiring land, ponds and waterway accesses.

Rainbow Lake (Rosenhayn/Pittsgrove) -- Lee explained the story behind the "improvements" to the ramp here.  Through a series of events, the State's attempts at improving the ramp didn't make it any better than it was.  There are now plans to scoop out the lake bottom near the ramp (over the winter) to make boats easier to launch.  A parking lot has been constructed.  It was made as big as possible, given the limited amount of space available.  A porta-potty has been placed at the ramp, but will be removed during the winter months.

Union Lake (Millville) -- The lake was lowered for a few days in early September in order for a contractor to install some diffusers at the dam gates.  The water level is now back up to normal.  It will be lowered again in late September by approximately 1.5 feet in order for a contractor to resurface the spillway at the dam.  The lake level is expected to be restored in late October.

Silver Lake (Upper Deerfield) -- Lee met with people from the Silver Lake Homeowners Assoc to discuss the possibility of the State taking ownership of the lake dam.  A deal is being discussed where this would happen in exchange for the State acquiring public access to the lake and room for a small parking area.  Lee suggested that at least one bass fishermen get involved in the negotiation meetings, to ensure that our interests are understood.

Great Egg Harbor River -- Lee said the State is working on a deal to acquire some public access land in order to construct a public ramp.

Split Rock Reservoir (Passaic?) -- Lee mentioned that the State is also working on a deal to get public access to this body of water.

Elmer Lake (Elmer) -- Lee didn't discuss anything about the construction of a launch ramp, but he did say that this lake was being scheduled to get a new dam and to be dredged.  At the rate these projects are going, however, it might not happen for about five years.  This lake, like some other similar ones (e.g., Rainbow), would get a horseshoe style dam (like the one at Parvin).

Harrisonville Lake/Maskells Mill Pond/Paradise Pond -- Are all scheduled for dam rebuilds in the future.

Delaware River -- The ramp and parking at the Pennsauken ramp area are being expanded and improved.  [Several attendees at the SJBCA meeting mentioned to Lee the names of closed marinas on the Delaware that could be purchased by the State, to provide more public access.]

Sand Pond (Mauricetown) -- The State is still working on this pond they recently acquired.  Currently, the PH level is too low (acidic) to support a healthy population of fish, but the State is making an effort to improve this condition.  There are not yet any fish in this lake and the State has not yet built an access road or ramp.

Maurice River (Mauricetown) -- The State has acquired land under the Mauricetown causeway bridge and will be building a public ramp in that area.

Lake Assunpink (Roosevelt) -- A meeting attendee asked about the status of any improvements to the ramp at this lake.  Lee said that Assunpink is not within his assigned area.  He will try to find out the current status.

Malaga Lake (Malaga) -- This lake is not maintained by the State, but the lake dam is State-owned (because it's under a State highway).  Questions were raised about the recent loss of public access to the lake because a developer has closed off the public ramp area on the west side of the lake and Franklin Township limits the use of their ramp on the east side to township residents.  Lee said he would look into whether anything could be done.

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