LEE WIDJESKOG'S UPDATES ON SOUTH JERSEY LAKES
MAY 18, 2005

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:

Ponds in Cape May County -- Lee stated that the State was acquiring a group of small ponds in Cape May County.  The total acreage of the ponds is approximately 11 acres.  They are located off of Rt 9, south of Cape May Court House, on Cressy Lane.  By late spring of next year, he expects that they will have connected most of the ponds to one another and built a launch ramp.

Salem Canal -- There is still no progress to report on the new ramp & parking area proposed for Rt 540.  The State agency involved is still negotiating with Dupont on the terms of the deal.

Maskells Mill Pond, Thundergut Pond (Paradise Lakes), Harrisonville Lake -- All three of these lakes are scheduled to have new dams built over the next several years.

Lake Audrey -- This newly acquired lake in Millville/Mauricetown has a pH level that is inadequate to support fish.  The Cumberland County chapter of the NJ Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs has submitted an application to a Cumberland County agency for a grant to seed the lake with 200 tons of lime.  If the funds are granted later this year, the State will be looking for volunteers to help dump bags of lime in the center of the lake from boats.  All volunteers must complete an application to be a member of the "Wildlife Conservation Corps" (provides insurance for the volunteers).  If the grant is received soon and the liming takes place shortly thereafter, it is possible that fish could be stocked in the lake as soon as next year.

DOD Lake -- A new entrance road was built after a large pipe under the old road got crushed and collapsed the road.  The new road also had some problems, but they have been fixed.

Pembryn Pond (aka Stella Farm), Winslow Pond -- Still no update on the possible acquisition of these ponds.

Spicers Creek -- A new ramp will be built on this tidal creek near Cape May.  It is just going out for bid and should be completed by the end of this year.

Menantico Sand Ponds -- The project to connect the ponds on the left side of the road with all of the tidal ponds is alive again.  If approval is received it could begin almost immediately.  The project will include building a new entrance road around the "new" ponds and then connecting the new ponds to the existing tidal ponds.

Rainbow Lake -- No immediate plans are in place to improve the ramp situation.  Lee will see to it that the shallow area near the bottom of the ramp is dredged out when the new dam is put in (hopefully in the next three years).  He will look into reports (made at the meeting) about the lake water level fluctuating drastically again (usually on the low side).  When asked about the algae blooms that occur there in the summer, he said he believes they may be caused by a nursery near one of the upstream ponds that feeds into Rainbow.

Clarks Pond -- In response to reports made at the meeting, Lee stated that he would see to it that the illegally posted sign (about no allowing mounted gas motors on boats) would be removed and that he would check into a rope extending across a section of the lake that may have been placed by Capps Day Camp.

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