LEE WIDJESKOG'S UPDATES ON SOUTH JERSEY LAKES
SEPTEMBER 21, 2005

General Info -- Lee works for the NJ Division of  Fish & Wildlife.  He has a staff of about a dozen guys who support over 50 locations.  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 updates on a number of lakes at our September 2005 meeting.  Here are the lake updates he discussed:

Ponds in Cape May County -- Lee stated that the State had 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.  He expects that they will have connected most of the ponds to one another and built two launch ramps by sometime next year.

Salem Canal -- There is still no definite timeframe for the new ramp & parking area being built off of Rt 540.  The deal is a Go, but parties are still negotiating about exactly what will be built and who will build it.

Maskells Mill Pond, Thundergut Pond (Paradise Lakes), Harrisonville Lake -- All three of these lakes are still scheduled to have new dams built over the next several years.  The bid packages are being prepared at this time.

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 received a $30,000 grant from the Cumberland County Improvement Authority to seed the lake with 200 tons of lime.  Lee is  looking for volunteers to help dump bags of lime in the center of the lake from boats on Sunday, November 6.  All volunteers must complete an application to be a member of the "Wildlife Conservation Corps" (provides insurance for the volunteers).  Assuming the liming is completed this fall and winter, fish stocking should begin next spring and catchable fish should be present the following year.

Spicers Creek -- The new ramp planned for this tidal creek near Cape May (just over the bridge) should be completed by this November.

Menantico Sand Ponds -- The project to connect the ponds on the left side of the road with all of the tidal ponds is still alive, but no timeframe has been established as they are still waiting for permit approvals.  Hopefully this can be completed sometime during 2006.  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 -- Some minor repairs were made to the ramp area recently.  There is still no official timeframe for the replacement of the dam, which is being done by NJDOT.  It will probably not be for another three or four years.  After the new dam is in, they will be able to keep the water level up, perhaps even higher that the highest level it achieves now.

Lake Assunpink -- A bid package for building a new ramp should be going out this fall and it is expected that the new ramp could be completed as soon as spring of 2006.

East Lake(?) -- The State has acquired this small pond in Woodstown, although Salem County still has responsibility for the spillway.  There are no improvements planned for the foreseeable future.

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