City of Long Branch

Lake Takanassee History


U.S. Lifesaving Station #5 - Monmouth County Historic Site Inventory Number 1325-44 (Destroyed - Hurricane Sandy)

Whale Pond Brook Subwatershed

The Whale Pond Brook Subwatershed (Map 6) covers approximately 365 acres of mostly residential land within the City Limits. Land use types (Map 1) include, for example, residential, multi-family residential, institutional, and parkland. The subwatershed is underlain by the Vincentown Formation to the north of Takanassee Lake and the Manasquan Formation to the south of the coastal pond.  It is not unusual for a water course such as Whale Pond Brook (Takanassee Lake) to follow the weakest elements of subsurface geologic formations, including the contracts between formations. Hence, the geology, hydrology, and habitats are apparently correlated in this boundary. Southward and northward sloping flanks of the coastal pond watershed range from a high of approximately 20 ft to the north and + 40 ft to the south. Drainage is eastward to the beach and ocean. The subwatershed includes Takanassee Lake Park, the downstream portion of the Whale Pond Brook drainage, which empties through a controlled gate into the Atlantic Ocean. The upstream boundary of this subwatershed surrounds the headwaters of Whale Pond Brook in Tinton Falls. Portions of Eatontown Borough, Ocean Township and West Long Branch Borough also contain the subwatershed, upgradient from the City of Long Branch. Characteristic soils include Evesboro sand; Evesboro-Urban land complex; Freehold sandy loam; and Udorthents-Urban land complex.

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the nationʼs historic resources worthy of preservation, and the New Jersey Register is the official list of New Jerseyʼs historic resources of local, state and national interest. The New Jersey Register is maintained by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) within the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (CMX 2010). The four sites listed in Table 17 and located on the Historic Sites and Districts Map (Map 12) are listed on the State and/or National Registers of Historic Places. 


Properties eligible for listing have been issued a SHPO Opinion, which is an opinion of eligibility issued by the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO). This opinion is in response to a federally funded activity, such as a road project, that will have an effect on historic properties not listed on the National Register (CMX 2010). There are six other eligible or “opinioned” historic sites in the City (Map 12 & Table 18).

Monmouth County keeps a “Monmouth County Historic Sites Inventory” which includes all properties considered to have historical significance, in addition to those recognized by the National and New Jersey Historic registers (CMX ;2010). Table 19, below, provides a list of the inventoried properties that were still intact as of March 16, 2010. These sites can also be found on Map 12.  


Takanassee Lake

Takanassee Lake is the downstream portion of Whale Pond Brook and is divided into six basins, separated by roads or railroad. The larger portion located west of Ocean Blvd. is generally identified by the name, but all six basins also are known as Takanassee Lake. A second large basin historically was called Hollywood Lake and a basin located upstream of Hollywood Lake historically was known as Ross Lake. The small basin west of the railroad berm is located within Hoey Avenue Park. The associated parkland along the entire lake is positioned on the banks and adjacent terraces, which include mowed lawns, seating areas, at least one fountain aerator, planted trees and shrubs, and Firemanʼs Memorial Park.  Palustrine Aquatic Bed, Emergent, and Scrub-shrub Wetlands, as described above in Section 4.0 Biological Resources, occur in, or on the periphery of, the coastal pond. Invasive species include, for example, Indigo Bush (Amorpha fruticosa), Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora), and Water Feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum). The inventory of species (Appendix D) includes 23 trees, 21 shrubs and vines, and 56 herbaceous species.

Wildlife observed during the two site visits include common mammals such as Gray squirrel and Eastern mole. Birds observed during the site visits include House sparrow, House finch, Cardinal, Black-capped chickadee, Blue jay, Canada goose, American crow, American kestrel, Turkey vulture, Mallard duck, and Canada goose, and an unidentified species of swan.  

Whale Pond Brook Watershed Biological Assessment (Tiedeman and Lisa 2007) was initiated in response to the mission of the Monmouth Coastal Watershed Partnership (MCWP), which formed to develop a comprehensive approach to regional watershed management, establishing a goal to develop strategic plans to limit degradation of stream habitat quality and restore impaired streams within Monmouth County (MCWP 2002). The aquatic life of Whale Pond Brook and Takanassee Lake, which is an impoundment of Whale Pond Brook, have been sampled by Monmouth University as part of the Whale Pond Brook Biological Assessment. This study provides an inventory of freshwater fish and aquatic invertebrates residing in the fresh waters of the City of Long Branch. The freshwater fish, listed in the following table were observed. In addition, Takanassee Lake is stocked four times per year by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife to enhance recreational fishery. 


As part of the Whale Pond Brook Biological Assessment, aquatic invertebrates were also identified. These organisms possess varying sensitivities to pollution and are, therefore, useful in assessing the water quality of surface  waterbodies.

The observed invertebrates are listed in the following table.


The eastern most portion of Takanassee Lake is unique in its connection to the Atlantic Ocean through a historical flume structure. This connection represents a potential for reintroduction of species such as Alewife and Blueback Herring (River Herring), which could become re-established in the fresh waters of the watershed.  River Herring are a vital part of the marine food web and require both fresh and marine waters to complete their life cycle. During the spring of each year, Alewife and Blueback herring would sense the freshwater outflow and swim into the lake system and freshwater habitat looking for suitable spawning grounds. The existing man made impediment blocks the River Herring at the base of the dam. Man made ‘fish laddersʼ are engineered structures that facilitate fish passage through systems such as this. River Herring are a "species of concern" and are close to being re-classified as an "Endangered species"; few remain in Northern Monmouth County.

Whale Pond Brook Watershed Biological Assessment (Tiedeman and Lisa 2007) included a series of recommendations to improve the water quality of Whale Pond Brook.

  • Maximize the quality of stream riparian corridor along Whale Pond Brook.
  • Improve in-stream characteristics of Whale Pond Brook.
  • Restoration of ponds on Whale Pond Brook and Takanassee Lake.
  • Improve recreational opportunities and fishery habitat.
  • Address non point source pollutants entering into the lake and ponds.
  • Provide a plan for addition of native plants and vegetation along the banks and adjacent mowed areas to serve as a buffer zone to collect nutrients, sediments, and other pollutants and enhance the wildlife habitats around the lakes and ponds.
  • Implement a “Stream side Living Program”to educate homeowners and private landowners on proper stewardship practices.


After Sandy

Before Sandy