When Augusta’s governing body first learned about the need to drain the City Lake, they knew that managing the fish population and rebuilding it would be important to residents.
The city staff immediately began planning for the fish salvage and subsequent restocking plan.
In May of 2012, the city put in hundreds of pounds of minnows and about 4,000 bluegills. During conversations this summer, the city learned that a population of mature carp have also been seen in the lake.
At that time, the city council approved spending $20,000 of the $70,000 restocking budget to add some largemouth bass – a predatory game fish – to the lake to control the other fish populations that are already there. The fish were not going to be available until September and the lake has refilled since the council voted on that proposal.
Interim City Manager Josh Shaw said that since Santa Fe Lake was overflowing and the city lake was almost full, staff will likely make a recommendation to consider implementing the full Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks restocking program instead of the partial program that was supposed to take place in September.
When the fish are added back to the lake, it will still be a couple of years before fishing will be allowed. This allows the fish population to develop without pressure from fishing.