2001-08-02 / Front Page

Fish are for the taking at three Assunpink lakes

Staff Writer
By linda denicola


Assunpink Lake, at 225 acres the largest of the wildlife area lakes, was created around 1970 by damming Assunpink Creek.Assunpink Lake, at 225 acres the largest of the wildlife area lakes, was created around 1970 by damming Assunpink Creek.

Anglers are lured by an abundance of lakes in Monmouth County, some stocked, some not.

Of the 26 fishing lakes in the county, only three are run by the state Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish and Wildlife. They are the three lakes in the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area: Assunpink Lake, Stone Tavern Lake and Rising Sun Lake.

The lakes are the products of the joint efforts of the U.S. Soil Conservation Service and the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife as well as the New Jersey Green Acres Program. They were built around 1970 to provide flood protection for the Assunpink Creek, drainage, fish and wildlife habitats, and recreation. Each lake provides fishing opportunities and small boat access.

"It’s a very popular area for fishermen," Raymond J. Porutski, regional superintendent of the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Central Region Office, said of the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area. "The main lake [Assunpink Lake] has a large class bass, so is a really good largemouth bass fishery for trophies," he added.


Largemouth bass and channel catfish are abundant in the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area lakes. Only electric motors are permitted on the lakes. Much of the shoreline is also accessible to bank fishing.Largemouth bass and channel catfish are abundant in the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area lakes. Only electric motors are permitted on the lakes. Much of the shoreline is also accessible to bank fishing.

The fisheries management program is directed toward largemouth bass as the major game species, so largemouth bass are abundant, as are channel catfish. These species were first stocked in the early 1970s. Hybrid striped bass are also stocked, and hybrids in excess of 5 pounds are not uncommon. Angling opportunities for chain pickerel and black crappie are excellent, Porutski said.

Both bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish are present, with the bluegill being the more numerous. Brown bullhead are present, but not taken in great number in Stone Tavern Lake. Rising Sun Lake has abundant bullhead with excellent size, according to state officials.

Chain pickerel are present, especially in Assunpink Lake, where they reach up to 18 to 20 inches. Other species that also call these lakes home are creek chubsucker, banded killifish and golden shiners.

The Assunpink, the largest of the three lakes, encompasses 225 acres. A new boat ramp is being constructed at Assunpink Lake. Instead of a dirt strip down to the water, it will be concrete with a little dock, and there will be expanded parking. Parking and launching facilities for both car-top and trailered boats are available at the access site off the Clarksburg-Robbinsville Road.

Besides largemouth bass, the 52-acre Stone Tavern Lake also holds bluegill and channel catfish. Parking and launching facilities for both car-top and trailered boats are available at two sites; one at the extreme eastern end of the lake and the other on the lake’s south shore off East Branch Road.

The smallest lake, at 38 acres, Rising Sun Lake can be accessed from Rising Sun Tavern Road (Route 571).

Only electric motors are permitted on the lakes, and the majority of the shorelines are accessible to bank fishing. Swimming is prohibited.

All of the lakes are popular resting spots for migratory waterfowl. In fall, the Assunpink is a popular rest stop for Canada geese and several species of ducks, making it popular with duck hunters. Stone Tavern Lake is also popular with duck hunters in the fall.

For more information, call the central district office at (609) 259-2120.


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