LEE WIDJESKOG'S UPDATES ON SOUTH JERSEY LAKES
MAY 21, 2003

General Info -- Lee works for the NJ Division of  Fish & Wildlife.  He 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.  Lee provided information on a number of these proposed deals at the May meeting.  Here are other lake updates he discussed:

Rainbow Lake (Rosenhayn/Pittsgrove) -- The State has been having difficulty controlling the lake water level due to the primitive spillway construction.  There are short term plans to improve the boards in the spillway and long term plans to replace the spillway with a horseshoe dam.  There are also short term plans (before July) to scoop out the lake bottom just below the ramp, to make launching less difficult.  There are longer term plans to place "concrete logs" at the lower end of the ramp to prevent the creation of deep ruts from launch vehicles.  The State is in the process of acquiring land across the street from the lake.  When that is completed, some of it will be used for a parking area for shoreline fishermen.

Dennis Creek, Jake's Landing -- The launch ramp area was improved (raised) to prevent it from being flooded during high tides.

DOD Lake (Pedricktown) -- A portable toilet was placed at the river ramp area.  It may be moved to the lake ramp area after striper season.  There have been problems with vandalism at the lake ramp in the past.  A new ramp sign was placed at the ramp road in April and is still there (previous signs were stolen by vandals).

Harrisonville Lake (Harrisonville) -- A decision was made not to replace the portable toilet here, as two toilets were vandalized in the past.

Clark's Pond (Fairton) -- Crushed clamshell material was placed in the ramp area at this lake.

Sandwash Pond (Mauricetown) -- The State acquired this pond last year, but no action has been taken to improve the water quality (acidity) so that fish can survive in it.  Work on it may begin this summer.

Menantico Sand Ponds (Millville) -- The entrance road was graded this spring to eliminate the washboard effect.  It will be regraded in the fall.  There are still long term plans to connect all of the ponds, including the ones across from the entrance road.  This will require re-routing the entrance road.

Elmer Lake (Elmer) -- There are still no immediate plans to make improvements at this lake.  They will give consideration to excavating the lake bottom near the shoreline at the State's property on Route 40/Harding Highway.  This would allow boaters to launch boats, but they would still have to navigate across the extremely shallow cove to the deeper water.  This excavation probably wouldn't happen any time soon.

Lee asked that if anyone witnesses vandalism of State property at any lake, please gather as much information about the perpetrator as possible and report it to the police (or him).  He also said that if you know of a State-maintained lake where a portable toilet could be placed to benefit fishermen, please let him know.  Likewise, if you see any shoreline trees that are candidates for being cut down and dropped into a lake, let him know that too.

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