Lake Ontelaunee is the main water supply for Reading and was formed by the damming of Maiden Creek. The land surrounding this 1,080-acre lake is typically a mixture of plantation Norway Spruce, second-growth deciduous forest, shrubby flood plain, and wooded riparian areas. Water Smartweed, Dotted Watermeal, and Pointed Watermeal are also species of concern that inhbait the limestone-rich tributary, Peter's Creek. The property is owned by the City of Reading.
Directions: From Reading, take Rt. 61 N to Rt. 73 E to dam breast.
Lake Ontelaunee, with proximity to the Kittatinny Ridge and the Schuylkill River, is an important migratory stopover location in spring and fall for waterfowl and shorebirds. The combination of habitats provides many opportunities year-round for feeding, resting, and nesting. Up to 291 bird species have been recorded at Lake Ontelaunee. Snow Geese, numbering up to tens of thousands at a time, have stopped on the lake, and over 500 Northern Pintail have been seen. Pied-billed Grebe is a common migrant, and there is one record of nesting.
The site's most pressing concern is severe invasion of mud flats by Purple Loosestrife. There is also a potential for recreational development and overuse and runoff problems.
Conservation efforts include grants from the Berks County Conservancy for sedimentation and pollution source stuidies with the Lake Ontelaunee watershed. Several other grants have been established and there is a diagnostic study and management plan in place for the lake.
Reading Area Water Authority
Formed by the damming of Maiden Creek as a water supply for Reading.