Fish Ladder in the Pines

Furball1

Explorer
Dec 11, 2005
378
1
Florida
Last fall I visited with my friend Tom, and we went to Batsto Village. Tom showed me a fish ladder that was installed at the dam ( he actually helped pour the concrete!) whose purpose is to restore the ancient pathway for spawning bronze-back herrings, and possibly other fish species as well. I found this fascinating, and recalled another much larger ladder that was installed next to the dam on Union Lake. Anyone have additional info on when to expect the herring to arrive at Batsto? That would be awesome to see---and I can imagine the pickerel and bass fishery in Batsto Lake will benefit immensely!
 

jokerman

Explorer
May 29, 2003
336
11
Manasquan
They come up in mid to late May near me in Monmouth County. The runs keep getting smaller every year. I didn't know they came up there. Fisherman near me will throw cast nets where they are concentrated in areas like these to use as bait for striped bass. They are most vulnerable in ladders, so hopefully no fisherman will bother them there.
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
I've seen them at Basto. I can't recall the time of year. There were some people netting them. There are stories of the church at Pleasent Mills shutting down on a Sunday for the herring run. There are lots of eels in the pool below the dam in the spring. Most of them are very small, although I did see one huge one (3ft approx.) in the Basto just on the other side of 542. I have seen eels as far north as Parkdale and they were plentiful. Average length, about 10".
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,225
2,458
Pines; Bamber area
When I moved into Bamber in 1982 the lake was loaded with eels. Don't see them anymore. Must have gotten in before they put the dam in?
 

uuglypher

Explorer
Jun 8, 2005
381
18
Estelline, SD
bobpbx said:
When I moved into Bamber in 1982 the lake was loaded with eels. Don't see them anymore. Must have gotten in before they put the dam in?

When did the dam go in? I'm thinking that a canoe trip with my wife down the Batsto in '82 was post-dam. I do, very clearly, recall that during a brief skinny-dip well upstream from Batsto I experienced a very startling - and thankfully non-traumatic - close encounter of the most personal and intimate kind with a big eel. My skin crawls, even now, at recollection of the event !

Dave
 

Furball1

Explorer
Dec 11, 2005
378
1
Florida
Dam

Dave--I have always assumed that the dam has been there since the 1700's when the mill and forge were put in---albeit the creation of Batsto Lake. The fish ladder was installed last year. Skinny dipping and eels just gives me the shivers, man!:rofl:
 

uuglypher

Explorer
Jun 8, 2005
381
18
Estelline, SD
Furball1 said:
Dave--I have always assumed that the dam has been there since the 1700's when the mill and forge were put in---albeit the creation of Batsto Lake. The fish ladder was installed last year. Skinny dipping and eels just gives me the shivers, man!:rofl:

Details of fish / eel biology are outta my ken. Anybody here know if there's such a thing as land-locked eels? Last I heard, all the eels in the eastern US and western europe spend some part of their life cycle in the Saragasso Sea, and then at some stage migrate back to their ancestral homeland by smelling their way back to and up a familiar North American or European river to their ancestral stream - sort after the fashion of salmon. We got land-locked salmon, so do we have land-locked eels as well?

Dave
 

Windsor

Scout
Aug 11, 2005
66
0
46
Somerdale
uuglypher said:
Details of fish / eel biology are outta my ken. Anybody here know if there's such a thing as land-locked eels? Last I heard, all the eels in the eastern US and western europe spend some part of their life cycle in the Saragasso Sea, and then at some stage migrate back to their ancestral homeland by smelling their way back to and up a familiar North American or European river to their ancestral stream - sort after the fashion of salmon. We got land-locked salmon, so do we have land-locked eels as well?

Dave

I don't know if this is truly land locked, but I caught my one and only eel at a lake in Blackwood. This lake is normally not very productive, but when you land something it is usually large. I think this is characteristic of land locked waters? Anyway, I was minnow fishing when all of the sudden I got a very HARD strike on my line. I started to reel the fish in and when I finally landed it, it turned out to be a 30-36" eel! Being a rookie fisherman at the time, I had never seen one before.

I feel safe posting this location as it is not in the Pines, but check it out for yourself and if you think it is truly land locked.

N39 49'03.80 W75 02'54.80

The locals call this lake 'Puppyland' as there used to be a puppy mill in the area years ago. Thankfully it is no longer there.
 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
4,588
2,316
Pestletown, N.J.
Windsor said:
The locals call this lake 'Puppyland' as there used to be a puppy mill in the area years ago. Thankfully it is no longer there.

Puppyland was the name of a kennel and pet shop that stood in the location of the current Gloucester Township Hider Lane Senior Center.
It is on Hider lane and sits on the lake that you are referring to.
I used to bass fish their in the early 80's.
Puppyland closed in the 1970's and did not have a bad reputation at the time.
Kind of like calling a business Puppybarn. (Columbus, NJ)
It just doesn't sit well with dog fans, even though they may be completely reputable.
 

Furball1

Explorer
Dec 11, 2005
378
1
Florida
Where Are the Fish Biologists?

This subject always fascinated me, especially the water ecosystems in the pine barrens, how certain waters will sustain just pike, and others a mixture of pike and bass. The fish ladder idea was really good---I wonder who originated the idea to put one in there in Batsto---anyone know the background info and groundwork research---someone had to have the idea and reasearch AND persuade the state to fund it---anybody out there know??????????? Perhaps Stockton?
 

Furball1

Explorer
Dec 11, 2005
378
1
Florida
Talking to myself

A little research--seems the project came under The Army Corp of Engineers CAP (Continuing Authorities Program), section 206, which covers the Batsto fishladder---other projects have to do with restoring natural flow of ecosystems altered by the COE and restoration of eroded beaches, etc. I would still be interested in more info though. Amongst the huge lakes here in FL, Lake Jesup ( a "lake" along the St. Johns river), had its natural flow altered years ago by the ACOE--they closed its inlet tributary, and with only an outlet tributary the lake takes nearly a year to recycle its waters causing stagnation, silting, fish kills due to algae proliferation--BUT, the COE is now righting its past wrong, they're retoring its inlet channel, and hopefully the lake will have prize bass like it had years ago. Today I drove over the causeway that bisects the lake, and witnessed two very large mature bald eagles chasing an osprey who had a very large fish--he finally gave it up to the bullies!
 

Furball1

Explorer
Dec 11, 2005
378
1
Florida
Yay Redneck

Now we need to find Michael Hogan and give him a NJPB.com Award or something! Wow, one guy started the whole thing. Awesome! And fascinating. Thanks redneck!
 

jokerman

Explorer
May 29, 2003
336
11
Manasquan
American eels do all meet at the Sargasso Sea to spawn. I can't remember which sex does which, but basically the males and females remain separated into freshwater and saltwater environments until they begin the spawning migration. The eggs drift with the currents and the baby eels (male or female) travel up freshwater streams and into saltwater estuaries (male or female) at random locations based on their drifted whereabouts. They don't actively seek the original homes of their parents.

The other thing I know about eels is that they will travel through anything to get to and from their freshwater holdover spots, even over land, through sewer pipes, swales, up and over dams and rough walls. They are truly an amazing fish!
 

tom m

Explorer
Jan 9, 2006
271
0
Hammonton,NJ.
fish ladder

Hey furball1, yes the fisheries commision or one of their affiliates did a study and found that the bronze back herring were becoming dangeously low in numbers because they could not get up river to there spawning grounds,so they tryed that approach on another lake first with much success, this spring will be the first year it will be open at batsto.I forsee larger fish in this lake in the future because of a long lost food source being re-introduced
 
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