|Winter||Ice fishing on Ramona and Apache has ended, as of March 6th, due to unsafe ice|
|May 5||Office opens for summer hours|
|May 12||Fishing season opens!|
|May 26||Guest fishing opens (Memorial Day weekend)|
|July 5 -July 7||Ramona is closed to fishing, in preparation for the Kids Fishing Contest|
|Oct 31||Fishing season closes|
Fishing plans for 2018 - Crystal Springs Trout Farm will be supplying our fish for 2018. We try to maintain a balance of fish varieties (brooks, browns, rainbows) through our stocking program which is dependent on availability from our supplier and the health of our lake fishery. In 2018, we'll be stocking catchable and trophy Rainbows in all lakes during the April and June stockings. We'll stock 12-15" Cutbows throughout the year in all lakes. Cutbows are a cross between cutthroats and rainbows and are more disease resistant. We'll stock approximately 100 pounds of Palominos in each lake. Palominos, also called yellow rainbows, are a hybrid rainbow trout that are not a Golden Trout. By genetic cross-breeding of rainbows; the Palomino colors will range from light green to yellow. The Palomino grow as fast as regular rainbow and seem to be more disease resistant. If we can secure sufficiently sized browns, we'll stock those in the lakes. In October, we'll stock 7"-9" walleye at Apache to help biologically control the perch, see the rules about catching walleye. If you catch any perch, keep them! They don't count against your limit and helps us reduce the poplutation a bit.
We began a fisherman survey this past season for Apache and Nokomis, to gain insights about the fisheries. Specifically, the impact of perch and the trout growth rates; and looking at mitigation methods, walleye in Apache, and catch-and-release in Nokomis. We'll need at least three years of data and ask that you take the time to fill out the survey cards at both lakes. We experienced a great year of fishing last year and expect this year will be equally as good, with a good carry over of trophy fish from last season.
Dues increase - the stockholders approved a ~16% dues increase effective for the 2018 summer fishing season. Initiated memberships will increase $50/year, uninitiated $80/year, and day passes by $5. This is our first dues increase in 10 years, which during that time saw inflation increase by 22% and fishing costs increase by 45%. We're also increasing junior and grandchild memberships by $5, and ice fishing to $80/year - this is the first increase for these in over 40 years. The construction of the Snake pipeline and Shagwa have been significant draws on our reserves. We'll apply the dues increase to re-building our reserves and maintaining the quality of our fishing program.
Boat Storage - We continue to have too many boats left at our lakes year-round. To address this, we're initiating a program starting in November 2018, to either have boats removed or charging the owners to store them over the winter. Our first target will be Apache. We'll contact all boat owners there and take one of three actions this fall:
- Remove any unregistered boats, owners who can describe their boat can bail them out of our "boat yard"
- Give boat owners until November 15 to remove their boat (and not to another lake!). Should you need help we'll have a couple sources who can move your boat for a fee
- Or the boat owner can pay $150 to store their boat at Apache for the winter
Snake pipeline - this fall we replaced the aging Snake ditch with an 18" pipeline. The pipeline runs from the end of the concrete segment, near Minnehaha St, to the Letitia diversion and onto Snake. This will be a significant improvement to our delivery system by allowing us to run a larger volume of water with much less loss. We thank everyone along the reconstruction zone for your patience and support!
Shagwa - as most have seen this past summer, we drained the lake and did some water quality testing in our bore holes and lake bottom sludge. These showed a couple areas of poorer water quality, but not enough to identify a precise location of contamination. There's no doubt that sewage effluent is still making it to the lake (which is true at all our lakes), but between the elevated water table and the small volume of water at Shagwa it has been in concentrations that impacts the fishery. Our plan to address this is several-fold - we dredged the lake this fall in order to increase the volume of the lake. We deepened the pool in front of the dam (see photo) and created a pool and channel towards the south end. In 2018, we'll install a new aeration system, and fill the lake - yes, we'll need a big runoff this spring! Once we have it filled, we'll stock some forage (crayfish and fathead minnows). If we can fill Shagwa in 2018, then we hope to stock the lake for fishing in 2019. More details and background information on Shagwa.