There are a total of nine lakes at Duke Farms, all created and stocked by J.B. Duke. Today, the lakes are home to a variety of fish, including 10-pound large mouth bass, small mouth bass, crappies, catfish and bullheads, among others. Large snapping turtles that are approximately 100 years old also live in the lakes and build their nests in the nearby tree mulch.
Some photos and historical highlights of the lakes at Duke Farms:
Doris Duke remodeled the Mermaid Pool during the 1930s, and adapted it to become her swimming pool. Water flows from the reservoir, down a waterfall to the Mermaid Pool and then down another waterfall to a lower lake. The islands that you see in the pool are floating wetland islands, man-made structures designed to assimilate nutrients, primarily nitrogen and phosphorus, limiting their availability to nuisance organisms such as blue-green algae and certain other aquatic plants. The nutrients are utilized by the island’s microbial community which transfer the nutrients to the plants on the surface of the island.
The Great Falls of Vista Lake are powered by solar energy.
A small lake was created by damming Duke Brook, a creek flowing northward into the Raritan River near Route 206.