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Remember: Leaser Lake

Friday, August 7, 2009

Leaser Lake

Leaser Lake was initially created in 1971 by damming the Jacksonville Branch of the Ontelaunee Creek. The lake, when full, encompasses 117 acres and is 45 feet deep. It is located just outside of New Tripoli, about 25 miles north of Allentown.

“The dam has a history of seepage problems dating back to the initial filling. Concern about the quantity of seepage discharge and the possible undermining or erosion of foundation materials beneath the concrete chute spillway on the right abutment led to the lake being drawn down in the summer of 1999”. (PFBC) As of this summer, Leaser Lake has been drained entirely to prepare for the final renovations to fix this dam which will begin this winter. Where once stood nearly 45 feet of water is now a bizarre grassland that has no comparison in the area.

Here is the former boat launch. Water used to touch the very end of the concrete.

On the other side of the boat launch is the problematic dam. When I began walking towards the dam itself, 5 blue herons flew from the base of the spillway. A Morning Call reporter recently had a similar experience and called it “Jurassic Park like”. They are big, beautiful birds and too quick for me to capture on film.

They expect that a slow filling of Leaser Lake will be completed in 2011. It will be very interesting to watch that happen. There are many plans to restore wetland and fish habitat. A great site to stay up to date on the Lake is It is worth a trip to see the lake before it is filled up. You aren’t going to see anything else like it around here.

Directions from 15th and Chew in Allentown:

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