Lehigh Valley

Workers move fish from Minsi Lake

UPPER MOUNT BETHEL TWP., Pa. - A popular lake in Northampton County is dry.

The last of the water in Minsi Lake in Upper Mount Bethel Township was released Monday morning so workers could relocate the fish and other aquatic life.

Workers with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission got the lake down to four feet and then they started gathering up fish.

Just like people with a fishing pole, it's a process that takes a little time.

"We're going to try and save every type of fish. It's primarily largemouth bass, blue gills, yellow perch, bullheads," said Dave Arnold with the PA Fish and Boat Commission.

The lake is being drained to repair a spillway. The work will take two years.

As workers did their job at the catch basin, people familiar with the lake watched their fishing hole go dry.

"I think the fun part is, we get to see the bottom of the lake,” said Bangor resident, Tammie Jirak. “We've always wondered what was down there and where the big ones were hiding."

Some helped by catching more fish. Martin Gerardo has been fishing at the lake since the draining started.

He and his friends have caught over 1,000 fish in the past month. He's been taking them to his private lake in Saylorsburg.

"Retirement home for them because it's catch and release," said Gerardo.

Every hour, workers pulled up more fish.

"Fish will wait until the last minute to come out," said Arnold.

Their new home will be other area ponds and lakes.

"Our goal is to get what we can, the most we can," said Arnold.

Workers says they know they may not get every fish due to the topography of the lake.

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