Ranchos fishing pond workshop July 28

The dream of a big, deep, self-sustaining fish pond in the heart of the Gardnerville Ranchos is becoming a reality.

On Monday, Bob Spellberg, manager of the Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District, reported that the Nevada Department of Wildlife signed off on plans for a 2-acre urban fishery on the west side of Mitch Drive Park.

"We've been working on this for two years," he said. "It feels great. I think it will be really good for the community."

Both warm water fish and cold water species are proposed for the 12-15-foot deep pond.

"We're hoping to make it a habitat for bass," Spellberg said. "We want some crappie and catfish, and a couple carp to clean up the bottom. NDOW will stock it with trout."

Spellberg expects construction to begin in September. Though the entire project, including amenities, is estimated to take 18 months, Spellberg believes fishing will be possible next spring

"Once we get the pond in, and get it filled, we'll look at putting some food in there," Spellberg said. "We hope trout will survive because the water will be deep enough, but we'll need some minnows, crayfish and mosquitofish, and we'll want to let some vegetation grow."

Spellberg said the district will fill the 2-acre hole with well water. Periodically, the water will be pumped out to irrigate surrounding grass and trees and to ensure proper circulation.

"NDOW wanted at least 2 acres, so then they don't have to stock it as much," Spellberg said.

To build the pond, the Ranchos secured a $375,000 match grant from state Question No. 1 money. The state pays $284,000, and the district puts in $91,000, Spellberg said.

He said the district's hosting a public workshop 4-7 p.m. July 28 in the GRGID offices, 931 Mitch Drive, to discuss preliminary plans.

"We're going to talk about how to maintain it," he said. "We got some aerators priced out, and we need to figure out what the contractors are going to do, and what GRGID is going to do."

Spellberg wants to build a picnic area with a gazebo and a balcony from which disabled people could fish.

"NDOW regulations would apply," he said. "There would be no boats or float-tubes, but purely a habitat for fish. No swimming."

Spellberg's also mentioned designating one corner of the pond for fly-fishing.

"I want to be able to take input from the public workshop to the board in August," he said, "then move forward with our true design and plan."

For more information, call 265-2048 or e-mail grgid@aol.com.


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