There are thousands and thousands of fish in Orchard Park's Green Lake – but they're not big enough to catch.
Green Lake, which was emptied and dredged last year, is refilled and stocked – with minnows.
Supervisor Patrick Keem said he's seen people fishing at the lake. Of course, no one is bragging about their catches, because the game fish have not been added yet.
"It's sad," he said. "Patience is a virtue, but ..."
[Gallery: Dredging Green Lake]
After tons of silt were removed from the bottom of the lake last year, the dam was closed last December, and after the lake filled up, it was stocked with tiny fish. This spring more than 100,000 more were added: 100 pounds of fat head minnows, 85 pounds of golden shiners and 39.5 pounds of crayfish, according to Town Engineer Wayne Bieler. They are swimming in at least 75 million gallons of water in a lake that now is 26 feet deep at its deepest.
Biologists recommended giving the small fry time to grow and reproduce, so they can support the larger fish. The town will stock the lake with large mouth bass, yellow perch and crappie this fall or next spring.
While swimmers and boaters are delighting in the refreshed lake, there aren't many anglers around.
Don and Geri Pfohl of Orchard Park were sitting on a bench with their grandchildren, Will, 4, and Caroline, 23 months, in the park Monday. The children were eating a snack as all four looked out over the lake.
"We haven't seen anyone fishing," Geri Pfohl said, adding that they usually bring the grandchildren on the weekend.
Those who are fishing aren't having any luck, of course.
Dave Witt and his wife, Lynn, got a little suspicious of the lake when they saw lots of "feed fish," but no bigger fish chasing them Monday. The West Seneca couple are avid fly fishers and got the chance to work on their casting on a trip to Green Lake.
Recreation Director Ed Leak he and his staff, who are headquartered at Yates Park where the lake is located, have seen people out on the lake fishing. He said he saw one pair take off in kayaks with fishing gear and paddle to different areas of the lake last month.
"They knew what they were doing," he said.
But when they came back empty-handed, he spoke to them.
"You didn't catch any fish, did you?" Leak asked, and they said no.
So he told them: "There's no fish in there."
Guess they'll have to wait until next year to boast about the big one that got away.