HOWELL – While Howell’s Aldrich Lake has been officially reopened since July 19, the township continues to make additional improvements to the area. The most recent: a brand new kayak launch.
“Most of the lake is surrounded by private property and while I’m sure those residents are appreciative of the dredging work, it’s not a private lake. This is a public lake for all of the Township residents to enjoy and the Council felt that we should be maximizing the recreational opportunities there,” said Jim Herrman, Director of Community Development.
It was announced on Aug. 27 that the new kayak launch ramp was added to Aldrich Lake. The kayak launch is attached to the dock, which was also added as part of the lake dredging project.
The total construction took place over the course of about 9-10 months between October 2017 and June 2018, according to township officials. This included dredging the entirety of Aldrich Lake and implementing the new dock, which was not there before.
Prior to the actual construction, the project incorporated years of planning and permit approvals dating back to 2004, according to Herrman.
While the bulk of the work has been completed and the lake is open to the public again, the project is not quite finished. The addition of the kayak launch was just another step towards building recreation options.
In addition to the kayak launch, the lake was also restocked with over 500 small fish recently. About 750 fish were moved out of Aldrich Lake for dredging and were relocated to the Manasquan Reservoir, said Herrman. The new fish come from the Hackettstown Fish Hatchery.
There have also been four parallel parking spots added along Addison Road.
There remains to be landscaping, trash receptacles, picnic tables, park benches, and signage implemented at the lake as well.
“This work won’t be completed for a few weeks as the summer heat does not lend well to transplanting small plants,” Herrman explained. “Once complete this area will be a beautiful little space for our residents to enjoy.”