Pay Lake Update

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With the smell of honeysuckle drifting down the hill, I drag 400 feet  of hose around the pond to agitate the surface and get my pulverized lime to quit floating.  It seems to be working, the pond is clearing up and the aquatic life is increasing, but I did it for the fish.  

Thursday our first shipment of fish came in; 170 6-8 inch hybrid bluegill, 200 4-6 inch standard bluegill, 200 2-4 inch red ear sunfish 100 6-9 inch channel catfish and 20 pounds of fathead minnows.

I’m no aquaculture expert, I’m just learning as I go.  I want you to catch fish and I want you to catch decent sized fish.  Fish are expensive!  The big ones cost more than the little ones so we bought some of both and we are establishing a feeding program to get those little guys to turn into big guys.  Turns out having a PH of 7 or above helps them to grow faster and makes the other pond life happier so I am using lime to raise the PH.  There are some other nice benefits to lime as well.  It helps clear muddy water and bind the clay together making it a better sealer for our pond bottom.

I enjoy working our pond and watching its transformation from muddy brown hole to life-giving oasis.  There are usually deer tracks around it and just the other day a new bird started wading the shallows hunting its food.  I called it a snipe but I don’t know what it really is.  Seems like more frogs and dragonflies come every day.  We constructed a fish nursery habitat and immediately increased the beneficial wildlife population of our pond as well providing hiding places for the smaller fish and fry.

I know what you really want to hear though, when are we opening and what are we charging?  

We’re pretty sure that we plan to charge:

$20 dollars per adult 17 and up 

Children 6 and under with a paying adult will fish for free 

Children 7-16 can fish for $10  

Non-fishers will be charged 2 dollars

This includes your first pack of red worms and we will loan you a 10 or 14 foot cane pole. 

You can use your own pole if you prefer but the price is the same if you use our pole or yours. We will have tackle restrictions about the hook size and material its made from, also no lead sinkers.  Our concern is that people will use a hook that is too small and then accidentally allow the fish to swallow it, causing it to die.  In our opinion, the best thing to do there is cut the line and let the hook rust out which will give the fish the best chance of survival.  If the hook is brass, aluminum, or stainless steel then it won’t rust away.  We intend to supply the approved tackle as a courtesy to our patrons. 

You can bring your own bait if you wish but we don’t allow you to use baitfish at this time, this includes but is not limited to shiners, chubs, minnows, goldfish, crawdads, bluegill or suckers.  Approved baits are any land dwelling insect or worm.  Most artificial baits will also be allowed, with the exception of flies. 

At this time all fishing is catch and release only.  If we find a cheaper way to buy or raise eating sized bluegill we would love let you take a mess home.

As far as when we open, the Powers That Be have said it takes 3-6 weeks for our pay lake application to go through the approval process.  It could be as late as 4th of July weekend or as early as the weekend of June 9th.  We don’t have an exact open and close time yet, but we are leaning towards sunrise to sunset, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  We will most certainly be closed on Sundays but we will have special hours for holidays and take reservations for fishing on other days if there is a large enough group.

We’re looking forward to seeing you.  Until then we will be feeding fish and landscaping the pond banks, making trails and creating picnic and play spaces; all while smelling the honeysuckle and watching the birds.

Thanks for reading;

Dale Stewart

aka ‘Stewie’

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