Lakes Benefit from Habitat Projects in New Jersey

Trees head to their destination on Lake LenapeThe Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries completed four artificial habitat projects in 2007 and 2008 at Union Lake, Lake Lenape (Atlantic County), Hammonton Lake, and Penbryn Lake. These projects were made possible through partnerships with the Boy Scouts, South Jersey Bass Club Association, Hammonton Lake Water Quality Committee, and Atlantic County Division of Parks and Recreation.

Artificial habitat projects are well documented to be effective in increasing angler catch rates as a result of improved habitat. The Division of Fish and Wildlife has cooperatively worked with local-fishing organizations to enhance the habitat in many of New Jersey’s lakes, ponds, and reservoirs for years. The locations of artificial habitats have been mapped with GPS coordinates.

Other projects recently completed at Assunpink Lake, Stone Tavern Lake, and Mercer Lake (2006) were highlighted in the feature article, “Local Lakes Get Home Makeover.”

Descriptions of the most recent projects are as follows:

LAKE LENAPE

Loading trees at Lake LenapeA lake habitat enhancement project was completed at Lake Lenape, Atlantic County on February 22, 2008. A total of thirteen individuals comprised of Atlantic County Parks staff, members of the Cedarwater Bassmasters and Bucketmouth Brigade Bass Club, and a volunteer from the local rowing association completed the project on a cold winter day. Park staff and the rowing association provided boats to deploy the habitat structures. Structures were placed in eight locations in the deeper section of the lake near the dam, which had the least amount of cover. A total of 300 discarded evergreen trees were dispersed at the six locations.

Lake Lenape
Site # Habitat Coordinates
1 39° 27′ 24.0″ N 74° 44′ 01.7″ W
2 39° 27′ 24.6″ N 74° 44′ 10.8″ W
3 39° 27′ 23.0″ N 74° 44′ 14.7″ W
4 39° 27′ 20.0″ N 74° 44′ 16.0″ W
5 39° 27′ 15.7″ N 74° 44′ 17.3″ W
6 39° 27′ 15.9″ N 74° 44′ 16.2″ W
7 39° 27′ 40.7″ N 74° 44′ 23.8″ W
8 39° 27′ 44.4″ N 74° 44′ 25.4″ W

UNION LAKE

Tom Ritterhoff prepares a habitat structure for Union LakeTom Ritterhoff, a Boy Scout from Cape May Court House, NJ, was instrumental in the Union Lake project. The structures were deployed by fisheries biologists from the Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries. Tom obtained all materials and built the structures with the assistance of members from Troop 65.

A total of 25 structures were deployed at two existing habitat structure locations in Union Lake. The structures were constructed from PVC pipe and plastic buckets and were placed in 10 – 12 feet of water. Warmwater fish species including largemouth and smallmouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, and chain pickerel will greatly benefit from this

Union Lake
Site # Habitat Coordinates
1 39° 25′ 01.9″ N 75° 03′ 53.8″ W
2 39° 24′ 25.5″ N 75° 03′ 51.5″ W
3 39° 24′ 42.4″ N 75° 3′ 52.5″ W
4 39° 24′ 58.7″ N 75° 3′ 56.4″ W
5 39° 24′ 58.7″ N 75° 3′ 32.6″ W
6 39° 24′ 45.5″ N 75° 3′ 23.2″ W
7 39° 24′ 20.6″ N 75° 3′ 29.4″ W
8 39° 25′ 27.4″ N 75° 3′ 42.8″ W
9 39° 25′ 29.7″ N 75° 3′ 56.8″ W
10 39° 24′ 8.8″ N 75° 3′ 39.6″ W
11 39° 24′ 26.4″ N 75° 3′ 54.0″ W
12 39° 24′ 19.9″ N 75° 3′ 14.3″ W
BOLD indicates locations of new structures

HAMMONTON LAKE

A lake habitat enhancement project was completed at Hammonton Lake, Atlantic County on May 13, 2008. Structures were placed in three locations in the deeper section of the lake. A total of 35 discarded evergreen trees were dispersed at the three locations. Phase two of this project, consisting of 30 additional structures constructed by a local fishing organization, will be completed during the fall of 2008.

Hammonton Lake
Site # Habitat Coordinates
1 39° 37′ 46.4″ N 74° 46′ 41.8″ W
2 39° 37′ 46.9″ N 74° 46′ 36.0″ W
3 39° 37′ 50.5″ N 74° 46′ 22.0″ W

PENBRYN LAKE

A fisheries management plan was completed in 2005 for Penbryn Lake, and recommendations were made to deploy artificial habitat structures to improve the largemouth bass and black crappie fisheries. The Penbryn Lake project was completed through a partnership with Patrick Fuzer, an Eagle Scout from Mount Laurel. The project was completed on April 12, 2007. Eight scouts and three parents assisted with the project. The scouts provided all materials including evergreen trees, concrete block and rope. More than 190 trees were deployed in the lake. Locations were predetermined utilizing a bathymetric map, GPS, and depth finder. Structures were placed in 10 to 25 feet of water.

Penbryn Lake
Site # Habitat Coordinates
1 39° 45′ 59.3″ N 74° 56′ 16.5″ W
2 39° 45′ 57.9″ N 74° 56′ 32.3″ W
3 39° 45′ 53.6″ N 74° 56′ 31.7″ W
4 39° 45′ 54.7″ N 74° 56′ 21.0″ W
5 39° 45′ 55.0″ N 74° 56′ 16.2″ W
6 39° 45′ 58.1″ N 74° 56′ 14.3″ W
7 39° 45′ 59.1″ N 74° 56′ 21.6″ W
8 39° 45′ 58.4″ N 74° 56′ 32.5″ W
9 39° 45′ 57.8″ N 74° 56′ 25.0″ W

The staff of the Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries is continually working to improve fishing opportunities throughout the state of New Jersey and welcomes the input of independent anglers and of organized clubs.


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