|Winter||Ice fishing on Ramona and Apache will open from mid-December through early March, safe ice permitting|
Water Status - we had a good water season and while the flows tapered off in July, the monsoon rains allowed us to largely refill the lakes. We filled Snake and Letitia a bit earlier this fall in anticipation of redoing the ditch below Ramona.
Fishing Status - it's been a very good year fishing. We've completed our fall stocking at all the lakes. Even though the usual higher water temperatures in August slowed fishing down, fishing is picking up this fall. Ice fishing will again be at Ramona and Apache and begins when the ice is safe, likely mid-December. Have fun out there!
Snake pipeline - this fall we're replacing the aging Snake ditch with an 18" pipeline. The pipeline will run 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!
Dues increase - the stockholders approved a ~16% dues increase starting in 2018. 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 $80/year - this is the first increase for these in over 40 years. We'll have the complete details in our spring newsletter and post it here in January.
Shagwa - as most have seen this summer, we drained the lake and have done 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 overwhelm the fishery. Our plan to address this is several-fold - we're dredging the lake this fall in order to increase the volume of the lake. We'll deepen the pool in front of the dam and create a deeper channel towards the south end. We'll then begin restoring the ecosystem by lining the bottom with organic material, putting in a new aeration system, and filling the lake - yes, we'll need a big runoff next 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 2019. More details and background information on Shagwa.