Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Old Morris Canal In trouble?

New Jersey is one of the oldest states in the country and is very rich in historical sites. One of those historical sites is the Morris Canal which cuts through my very town. As a kid, right up until last year I would always go fishing in the canal and would catch MONSTER FISH. Just check out some of these pictures (Yes I'm in a few).

Who would ever have thought the fish and turtles in this little body of water could get so big? I have even caught turtles that were SO BIG they couldn't fit in my big net. The canal had Walleye, Channel Cats, Albino Cats, Bullheads, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, Large Mouth Bass, Small Mouth Bass, Rock Bass, Crappy, Bluegill, Turtles, Frogs, Eels, Perch, Pickerel, Sucker Fish, and even an occasional Stripped Bass would make it's way in from Lake Hopatcong. And you may think I might not be completely honest about all these fish living in a canal this small, but I have at least caught one or more of the above in that canal.

When ever you would go fishing in the canal the most popular bait was either dead fish or chicken liver and you would hook a catfish one after the other! Also most of the catfish ranged from 1-2 feet long and as seen in the photos above one catfish was 31" inches long! Now here is the bad news. Last spring the canal was drained completely of it's water losing all the aquatic life that once thrived in it. I did call the town of Stanhope several times and I was told it was drained for "maintenance" and once it was cleaned it will be refilled with water. It's been almost a year and I think I have been very patient with the issue. The canal has neither been cleaned or filled back in with water and it's nothing more than "muck hole with loads of trash in it". See for yourself:

It's a different sight to see than in the previous set of photos. This time void of life the "Morris Muck Hole" now looks industrial sludge, an upsetting reality. I am going to bring this to the attention of the Hopatcong State Park officials and others, since I will be linking to this blog entry in my emails I ask all of my regular blog readers to do me a favor by commenting on this entry and let me and others know that we want the canal back! It's not only an environmental issue but an issue in preserving historical sites in our state. The wildlife that once thrived here will return in time but first we need to A) Clean up the trash ASAP then let the water flow once again or B) Fill it back in ASAP!

This issue can not be resolved without your help and support, so together let's tell the state that the Morris Canal in Stanhope NJ needs to have water flowing through it once again! Thanks guys/gals we can do it! :)


Town Resident said...

I agree, this is pittyful. If they drained it for the purpose of cleaning then they should GET TO IT!

Darren Milliron said...

Thanks for your support. It means so much!