Dan Hale Reservoir

This undated aerial shot shows Dan Hale Reservoir, an artificial lake that now serves as the raw water source for about 8,000 Mercer County residents. The reservoir will soon offer fishing and other family-friendly forms of recreation for the county.

PRINCETON — An artificial lake that now serves as the raw water source for about 8,000 Mercer County residents will soon offer fishing and other forms of family recreation.

Tim Hartwell of Matoaka, who said he has acquired a two-year lease from the Green Valley-Glenwood Public Service District, plans to open Dan Hale Reservoir this Saturday for fishing.

“I’ll be opening May 4,” Hartwell said. “It’s really good fishing at Dan Hale. I’m 59 and I’ve been fishing there all my life, pretty ever since I was in my 20s.”

Several species of fish now inhabit the lake.

“On large mouth bass, it’s catch and release only,” Hartwell said. “You can keep everything else but crappie. The crappie have to be 10 inches or bigger to keep. It’s just a 76-acre lake. In some of the deepest places, it’s 50 feet deep.”

In contrast, nearby Glenwood Lake is only about 10 to 15 feet deep at its deepest points, he stated.

Boats will be allowed on Dan Hale Reservoir, but they can be powered by electric trolling motors only. Gasoline engines won’t be allowed on boats. People can haul in their own boats, and Hartwell said that he plans to offer rental boats at a later date. 

“It’s what I love,” Hartwell said when he explained his reasons to bring fishing back to the reservoir. “I love the outdoors and love fishing and I like fooling with people.”

Besides boating and fishing regulations, other rules will ban alcohol at the reservoir and profanity. Hartwell stated that his goal was to offer a family-friendly area.

“I’m trying to make it a family thing,” he said. “Families can’t go many places these days and enjoy themselves, but that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Having another place to go fishing will benefit both the county’s residents and visitors, Executive Director Jamie Null of the Mercer County Convention & Visitors Bureau said about the reservoir’s scheduled reopening.

“Anytime we have a new recreation opportunity is great news,” Null said. “The more fishing spots we have, the better. We want to give (fishing enthusiasts) a wide variety of places and great locations.”

Green Valley-Glenwood Public Service District now uses Dan Hale Reservoir as its primary raw water source, Manager Marty Mariotti said. The PSD put a new pump station at the reservoir.

“So we’re pumping water out to our plant for treatment,” he said. “It’s going really well. Rural Water Magazine came and did a story on it. It’s all computerized and it’s going really well.”

Green Valley-Glenwood started supplying water to the Bluewell Public Service District when that entity shut down its treatment plant. Each district serves about 3,800 customers, so Dan Hale Reservoir is supplying about 8,000 customers now, Mariotti said.

The water at Dan Hale Reservoir is good, but Green Valley-Glenwood PSD has installed a new pump station at Glenwood Lake, too. Glenwood’s water would be used only if there is a drought.

“We put a new pump station on that, too, but we hope we don’t have to use it,” he said.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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