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Fish Salvage Operation at Prospertown Lake

September 21, 2011, Update:
An additional 1200 fish were removed from Prospertown Lake on Tuesday, September 20. The fish were relocated to Pemberton Lake WMA. The lake will be monitored over the next two weeks to evaluate if any additional removal/relocation is required.

September 16, 2011, Update:
An additional 2000 fish were collected from Prospertown Lake and relocated to Turnmill Pond on Thursday September 15. A total of approximately 3000 fish have been relocated thus far. The lake water level will be monitored over the weekend. Another day of electrofishing is planned for early next week.

September 15, 2011

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has been performing a fish salvage operation at Prospertown Lake (Ocean County) since the outlet structure failed earlier this week resulting in the lake's water level dropping substantially. The lake, a popular fishing destination, is located within the Prospertown Lake Wildlife Management Area.
As of Tuesday, September 13, 2011, approximately 1,000 black crappies, bluegills, yellow perch, brown bullheads and largemouth bass have been collected by Division Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries biologists and Bureau of Land Management personnel. The fish have been have been relocated to Turnmill Pond located on the nearby Colliers Mills WMA. Two electrofishing boats are being used to stun the fish, allowing staff to net and transfer them into a nearby hatchery truck.

The failure at the 80-acre lake in Hornerstown is believed to have been caused by the deterioration of the lake's outlet valve coupled with the additional flows from recent storm events. The exact cause of the failure will be determined once the lake drains and a thorough inspection of the outlet can be made. The lake is managed by the division.

Crews electrofish to salvage fish
Electrofish Salvage Operation
Click to enlarge

The lake level has continued to drop approximately one foot each day and the lake is anticipated to drain entirely. Salvage efforts will continue through the remainder of the week as lake conditions permit.

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Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: September 21, 2011