Tuesday October 21, 2014

Logan Green trout pond stocked

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Adam Matichuk with the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation holds up a bag of fingerling rainbow trout allowing Yorkton Mayor Bob Maloney and young Jack Puckett a closer look.

Fish are finally swimming in the Logan Green Fish Pond adjacent to the City’s new water treatment plant.

Last Wednesday 750 six-inch rainbow trout were released into the pond, as one of the final projects in completing the Logan Green Water Management System at Yorkton’s Water Treatment Plant.

Adam Matichuk with the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation handled the actual release, with about half the lively trout let go before a press event. He said the fish were already active, jumping, and going after existing food in the water.

“There’s a pile of minnows in here too, fathead minnows from what we can see,” he said, adding the minnows may be too large as food for the just released trout, but as they grow they will eat minnows.

While there are insects and minnows, Matichuk said they are going to be supplementing the trout’s food with commercial pellets too.

“We’ll feed them every day, at least until fall,” he said.

When asked how large the trout might grow in the pond, Matichuk said that was “a little hard to tell.”

“We don’t know how much food is in here,” he said, adding the summer water temperature will also be a factor.

“But they could grow as large as 12-inches (by fall),” he offered.

Matichuk said the trout should winter in the pond. While expecting they will without assistance, water is 2.7-to-3-metres deep, aeration could be added if required.

In terms of populations in the pond, long term additional releases could be made, including adult trout, and while the initial permit covered only rainbow trout, other species including brown and tiger trout could be viable in the pond.

As to when anglers can try to catch the trout, it will hinge on how big one wants them to be before testing their luck.

Local SWF president Heath Dreger said the pond will soon be posted with the angling rules.

As a private pond, a provincial license will not be required. The pond will be catch and release only. Hooks must be barbless, and no live bait is allowed, he explained.

The local SWF will also being building a fishing dock at the pond in the coming weeks.

The dock will be part of the amenities of the areas.

Matichuk noted trees have already been planted, and while it may take 15-20-years, once they are grown they will provide shade at the pond.

While the area is “an engineered system,” they are trying to have it look as much like a “natural ecosystem as possible.”

Matichuk said while the focus is a trout pond, the area will have potential for education on wetlands as well.

The $33 million project was officially opened in 2012 and includes unique backwash water settling ponds, a fish pond, stream, six multi-use sporting fields, and walking paths, all located on Logan Green.

The fisheries part of this project was led by the city and involved the cooperation of several organizations, including the Assiniboine Watershed Stewardship Association (AWSA) and both the Saskatchewan and local Wildlife Federations.

Five community organizations and several government departments were involved in planning the project, as well as the community at large through public meetings and consultation, said Michael Buchholzer, Director of Environmental Services.



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