Just three months after its appearance spurred concerns that it was slowly dying, things are looking better for a popular, man-made fishing pond off Route 202-206 near the AT&T office complex.
At the Township Committee meeting on Monday, Aug. 16, Committeewoman Renee Mareski said the pond had undergone its third chemical treatment this season as “it looks very nice.”
Mayor Larry Jacobs observed that “just a few weeks ago, the algae was still there.”
Mareski credited the improvement to the township having gained “a little more experience” with pond maintenance.
The six-acre, municipally owned pond was created by the state Department of Transportation (DOT) during the construction of Interstate Routes 78 and 287 in the 1960s. The DOT excavated soil from the site, creating a pit that ultimately filled up with water runoff.
Located near hike-and-bike trails, the pond has been known to have large carp. But when last summer brought extreme heat and humidity, the pond acquired a “skunky” odor and lacked its usual presence of swans and ducks.
On March 17, the committee approved an Environmental Commission proposal to try to improve the water quality through a two-year trial of increased treatment for weed control. Also approved was an Eagle Scout project to measure the depth of the pond, as well as measurement by a drone.
The cost was projected at $7,000 to $10,000 per year, excluding $1,500 for the drone measurement.
The number of treatments was increased from just one every spring to five per year, so at least two more are planned in 2021.
Mareski said after the meeting that the Eagle Scout pond measuring project, which would utilize a marked pole from a canoe, is planned this fall. She said the pond will be easier to clean if its depth is at least eight feet.
After weed control is implemented and pond depth is determined, plantings would be made in the more shallow areas to “restore balance” to the pond.
“We will do an evaluation next year to see how the treatments are going,” Mareski said.
The Bedminster pond, though public, is not widely known and has limited parking and access. There are two relatively small, unpaved and unlabeled parking areas along Route 202-206 that are used as access.
The pond is nevertheless known among local fishermen. An online state Division of Fish and Wildlife list of “places to fish” has a chart that includes the Bedminster pond and denotes it as having Largemouth Bass.
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in The Bernardsville News.
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