|HARRISBURG, Pa. (March 14) – Anglers in the Lehigh Valley can add Leaser Lake back to their list of favorite fishing spots.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is scheduled to stock the popular Lehigh County lake with rainbow trout on March 26, just days before the regional opening day of trout kicks off at 8 a.m. March 30 in 18 southeastern counties.
“This is great news for the anglers, boaters and outdoor enthusiasts who have patiently waited the last four years for their lake to return,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “We’re very pleased to be able to stock the lake in time to reopen it for the regional opening day, which provides a great recreational opportunity for anglers and their friends and families.”
The 117-acre lake – near New Tripoli – was drained in 2008-09 in order to rebuild the dam and spillway. The lake is owned by the Commonwealth and managed by the PFBC. The $3.5 million project began in fall 2010 and was completed last June.
Although the lake will be reopened, it is not yet at its full level and trailered boats cannot be launched at this time. Shoreline fishing will be available and conditions will be suitable for the use of car-top boats, canoes, and kayaks.
PFBC biologists plan to restore the lake’s fishery over the next several years.
“The long-term plan is to stock the lake with fingerlings from various warm-water species, like bass, crappie, blue-gills and yellow perch, and allow those fish to grow over the next several years into a sustainable fishery,” said Dave Miko, chief of the PFBC Division of Fisheries Management.
As part of the project to rebuild Leaser, PFBC habitat staff constructed and installed various structures which will help restore the fishery by providing cover for the various game fish, panfish and forage fish that will eventually inhabit the lake again. Multiple partners contributed to the $115,000 habitat improvement project, including the national Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership, PA Lake Management Society, Leaser Lake Heritage Foundation and the PFBC.
Funding to repair the Leaser Lake facility came from multiple sources, including $1.45 million through the state’s capital budget; $750,000 from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Community Conservation Partnerships program; $500,000 and $300,000, respectively, from Growing Greener II programs administered by the Department of Environmental Protection and the PFBC; and $500,000 from Lehigh County.
Leaser Lake was built by the PFBC in 1971 to provide access to water-oriented recreation. The lake and surrounding state and county land cover approximately 536 acres, with public areas leased and operated by Lehigh County. The lake features two separate boat ramps and free parking.
Eric Levis, Press Secretary