Orchard Park's Green Lake looks like just a puddle of water, but Thursday it began its journey back to becoming a lake.
The 104-year-old lake was drained last year for dredging, but town officials closed the lake's lower dam gate Thursday so that it could begin filling with water.
"It's up to Mother Nature and the Lord," Orchard Park Town Supervisor Patrick Keem said. The town will rely on rain and snow to start filling the lake.
Photo gallery: Dredging Green Lake
Since its summer dredging, the lake's capacity has increased by 23 million gallons and it will now hold at least 75 million gallons of water. At its deepest, it will be 26 feet. The town plans to stock the lake with bait fish, such as minnows, golden shiners and cray fish. Later, yellow perch, small-mouth bass and crappies will be introduced.
"I can't wait to go by and watch it fill up every day," said Keem, who passes the lake daily on his way to work.
The lake's upper dam gate will remain open until state environmental officials sign off on closing it, Keem said.
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