Fishing and Exploring the Ridley Park Lake

Hello, Readers!
Today I'm here to introduce you guys the Ridley Park Lake in Ridley Park, west of the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.
Getting tired of my regular fishing spots in Center City, I had decided to explore a little bit further! I used Google Earth to do a little bit of research, and found this small Lake in Ridley Park called "Ridley Park Lake." That was it...I decided to take a shot there!
After taking the Regional Rail (R2) all the way from 30th street station to Crum Lynne, I arrived at the Park with my friend Nadir G.. The Ridley Park Lake was actually located in-between Crum Lynne and Ridley Park stations (a 10 minutes short walk from the train station). The place turned out to be very peaceful, well conserved and clean.
Unfortunately, the lake suffered from a fish kill in the early June of 2011, and a huge portion of the fishes that populated the lake died. The water at the Lake was stagnant; therefore, the oxygen levels dropped dramatically. According to this website, the following Species of fish were found dead at the site: Koi, Common Carp, Largemouth Bass, Lake Trout (probably referring to Rainbow Trout), Bluegills, White Suckers, Rock Fish (probably referring to Green Sunfish), and Catfish. For more details, you may either google "Fish Kill Ridley Park," or access the website above.

I've heard of the Ridley Park since the beginning of Summer of 2011 mainly because of the nice concentration of Koi that is inside the lake. Upon arrival, Nadir and I were able to see at least two different types of Koi swimming in the Ridley Park Lake - a Sanke (White, with red and black portions on top) and a Yamabuki Ogon (Golden Carp). Also, there were a lot of Common Carp swimming around and performing intense spawning rituals. I chummed 2 different portions of the lake for the Carp, and it seems that they were just not in the mood to eat. I ended the day with zero Carp!

The fishing, however, was far away not bad. Nadir and I started at a little dock located at the center of the lake and fished the structure. We landed a good amount of Green Sunfish, and a very beautiful Golden Shiner! The Green Sunfish weren't really big, but the action was constant and Nadir G. was enjoying it. Also, I was already happy enough to see some Common Carps swimming around, and some Sunfish under the dock. That meant that the Lake still had life in it.

There were no signs of Largemouth Bass or "Lake Trout" (probably referring to Rainbows), which was sad. I cast lures around the Lake and didn't get a single bite. The Lake was a little bit muddy; however, very shallow at certain points. Therefore, I tried to spot some of them by naked eye, but ended up seeing nothing. I couldn't find them at that time, but I still hope that there are some left there.

Not surprisingly, the most fished fish of the day were the Yellow Bullheads. They are just so resistant to fish kills! They can live under extreme circumstances, and still survive. There were tons of small Yellow Bullheads at the lake, but none of them were hitting a good size. Anyways...even though they were small, they still put a great fight with loose drag and ultralight gear. So, Nadir G. and I had our fun for the day. We ended our day there with 13 Yellow Bullheads on nightcrawlers.
The Ridley Lake Park is actually a good spot for kids to catch their first Common Carp (up to 5-8 lbs), or just to have fun with the Sunfish and little Bullheads. It's a pleasant place fish at.
Pictures are below:
Still-fishing with Nadir G. for "whatever bites." We ended up getting a bunch of Yellow Bullheads, and nothing else!

The Ridley Park Lake is a pleasant place to fish with kids and family. Most of the fish are small; however, there are decent sized Commons Carps swimming in it.

Ridley Park Lake from another angle.

A little nice Yellow Bullhead, caught on a piece of nightcrawler.

I believe that the Green Sunfish were the only Sunfish Species of fish that did not die during the fish kill in 2011.

Another Green Sunfish, caught on a piece of nightcrawler under the dock.

A beautiful little Golden Shiner.

Of course most of the Species of fish portrayed here are the only ones that I've personally caught. In other words, it's certain that there are other Species of fish in the Ridley Park watershed! It's during moments like these that I like to quote Robert Altman: "You put that line in the water and you don't know what's on the other end. Your imagination is under there."

I hope you folks enjoyed this introductory post, and I hope you catch A LOT if you decide to fish the Ridley Park Lake one of these days! However, please keep in mind that conscious fishing always boils down to S.A.F.E. angling! In order to maintain the sustainability of our waters for ourselves and for future generations to come, please practice Catch-Photo-Release (CPR) and selective-harvest (i.e. take only what you need and what you will consume; release endangered, spawning, and rare Species of fish), Also, please avoid practicing non-point source pollution (i.e. littering)! 

Best luck for all of us!

Long Days and Pleasant Nights


Leo S.