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David Bothel, Loveland Parks and Public Ground Supervisor, said the pond still has more than 12 feet of water at its deepest point, and the release of water “was over a period of time through a smaller drain in the bottom of the overflow tower to help minimize fish loss.”
About half the normal surface area of the pond is now dry land. The storm water project, needed to reduce the possibility of flooding during periods of heavy rainfall, is expected to be completed by early April. The pond’s primary source of water is storm water runoff, but Bothel says if necessary the city would run irrigation water into the pond by the end of April.
For decades, the pond has been the location of the immensely popular Kids Fishing Derby, on the first weekend in June, with the Loveland Fishing Club
a major supporter. Colorado Parks and Wildlife stocks the pond just before the derby with several hundred trout. Several years ago, with the aid of an IBM Corporation grant, the Fishing Club donated $1K worth of bluegill to enhance the fishery.
Stocked trout are the only fish used to qualify for prizes from the club, and cleaned and cooked for kids by Colorado Youth Outdoors
. But the smaller panfish that occupy the pond year-end are just as sought-after by young anglers, so let's hope the city can avoid a winter kill.
High and dry: looking north toward the island in Duck Pond. Photo by Bill Prater