Put the fishin' hole here

The Gilman pond could be open for fishing once it's stocked by the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

"We've been talking about trout," said Gardnerville Town Manager Jim Park.

Part of a larger estuary that runs northeast of Minden and Gardnerville, the pond is skirted by willows, cattails, cottonwoods and rose bushes.

It flows under Gilman Road just east of Main Street.

Members of the Gardnerville Town Board recently approved changes to their park policy, prohibiting hunting and trapping.

Fishing will be restricted to the Martin Slough ponds, the limit set at two fish a day, at the behest of officials at the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

Pat Sollberger, fisheries biologist with the Nevada Department of Wildlife, said stocking could start as soon as September, when temperatures reach between 60 and 65 degrees. Stocking decreases when the weather turns cold, but would resume around March.

A number of steps are required, before Sollberger can start putting fish in the pond, he said.

"I've written the proposal and submitted it for review," he said. "No word yet, but I can't imagine that something like this would be turned down. It looks like a good area."

The pond would be stocked with trout, but that doesn't mean an occasional bluegill, catfish or bass couldn't sneak in from another pond, Sollberger said.

"If the pond gets a lot of use, we could put 2,000 fish in," he said.

Due to lack of habitat, these fish will not breed.

They will either be caught or die in the pond and the number of fish stocked depends on factors, like water quality and the amount of pressure locals put on the fish population, Sollberger said.

According to Gardnerville officials, a fourth phase of Martin Slough improvements are planned, with the addition of 2.5 acres of open space dedicated by the Hellwinkel Family Trust.

Another 30 acres will become part of Gardnerville's Martin Slough system when The Ranch subdivision records its first subdivision map, according to Gardnerville officials.

"We are also updating our inventory of town water rights for the slough area and may purchase additional rights for enhancement purposes in the future," Park said.

Originally an irrigation water system that branched off the Carson River, the slough flows through Gardnerville and Minden before returning to the East Fork of the Carson River. The water is used by local ranchers for agriculture.

Due to the significant growth in urban development, the Martin Slough also operates as a wetlands filter to balance nutrients in this urban habitat.

In 1995, Minden and Gardnerville joined with the Douglas County School District, local agencies and residents to improve the water quality of the slough, according to information from the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

-- Susie Vasquez can be reached at svasquez@recordcourier.com or 782-5121, ext. 211.


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