Butler County Times Gazette
  • Lake's fish restocking plan moves forward

  • City Council voted to go ahead with the full Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks first year restocking plan.
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  • In early July, the Augusta City Council voted to partially restock the city lake with fish to help control a carp population that had been discovered in the lake.
    As Interim City Manager Josh Shaw told the governing body, at the time, the lake was about only about half full and the drought was in full effect.
    When the city attempted to find the fish recommended to control the carp population, several hatcheries said the size and quantity of fish needed would not be available until September.
    In the mean time, the lake has filled up and is now only about 30 inches from the top of the new spillway.
    Because of this, the council voted to go ahead with the full Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks first year restocking plan.
    That plan includes 300 pounds of fathead minnows, about 9,500 largemouth bass that are 4-6 inches long, about 13,300 bluegills, 9,500 channel catfish that are 8-11 inches long, and about 950 walleye that are 8-10 inches long.
    The total cost of these fish would be just under $44,000 of the $70,000 set aside as part of the dam and spillway project budget. The plan calls for more minnows, channel catfish and walleye in year two and more channel catfish and walleye in the third year of restocking.
    The council approved using the funds set aside while checking into another option proposed by Mayor Kristey Williams. Williams was hoping to check on the possibility of turning the lake into a KDWP fishing lake. If that happened, the funds to restock the lake and manage the fish population would come from the state and free up the $70,000 the city has budgeted to be used on other projects.
    Councilor Mike Rawlings cautioned Mayor Williams that the governing body has checked into that option in the past only to find that it wasn't in the city's best interest.
    Williams said she knew that there had been issues about KDWP rules concerning the lake not being used as a water supply if it fell below a certain level, but she still wanted to see what the agreement might be.
    Shaw said he would be glad to check into that but his main concern was the window of availability of the number and type of fish that are needed.
    Councilor Sue Jones agreed.
    "I don't want to miss an opportunity to get some fish back in the lake, but I would still like to see what the state could do for us," Jones said.
    The council voted unanimously 7-0 to approve going forward with the restocking plan while investigating chances of a partnership with KDWP. Mike Wallace was absent Monday.
    Page 2 of 2 - Santa Fe Lake will also be restocked over time, but all of that money comes form the city's annual budget so that project will receive about $5,000 a year. The city has already put in some bait fish the past couple of years after Santa Fe Lake filled back up after going dry due to the drought.

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