Many pitch in at annual cleanup of community pond in Weiser

All the rain this spring has resulted in a profusion of weeds and vegetation at Weiser’s popular fishing pond. Numerous volunteers and city employees cleaned up the pond area on Friday morning in advance of Free Fishing Day, which is this Saturday. Above, Eileen Boots, a member of the Indianhead Fly Fishers, cuts back some of the dense growth. Boots has helped out every year since the pond opened in 2009. Everyone was treated to a barbecue lunch when the work was done. Photos by Steve Lyon
Steve Lyon
 Members of the Indianhead Fly Fishers club, city employees, volunteers and even some youth with the county juvenile probation spent Friday morning tackling the annual cleanup at Weiser’s community pond.
 The task every spring is to knock back the weeds and vegetation that have grown in profusion at the popular city-owned fishing spot. The growth was especially dense this year due to all the recent rain, city officials said.
 It was not a bad morning to be working outside with sunshine and temperatures around 70 degrees. A sign at the pond warned of ticks and bug spray was provided for workers. Volunteers and city employees mowed weeds, trimmed bushes, pulled moss out of the pond with rakes and generally tried to beat back the overgrown vegetation.
 City streets and parks supervisor Pat Malay said the cleanup effort is focused on general maintenance of the path and area around the pond. The annual cleanup is also done in advance of the Free Fishing Day in Idaho, which is this Saturday. No license is required to fish at the pond, or anywhere else in Idaho. All other regulations, such as fish limits, are enforced.
 In addition to fishing, the pond is also a popular place with residents to go walking or have lunch or seek some nature in the city. The city installed benches around the pond and the Weiser Elks Lodge paid for the wooden dock that overlooks the pond.
 The local Indianhead Fly Fishers club was well represented by members who show up every year to help clean up the pond. The fly fishing group was instrumental in establishing the fishing pond a decade ago, along with former Weiser Mayor John Walker.
 Club member and fly fishing enthusiast Eileen Boots has volunteered for the cleanup every year since the pond was established in 2009. Another club member, Bob Maki, was making headway wielding a hoe against the weeds.
 Malay said all the city departments were represented by employees at the cleanup. Everyone who participated in the cleanup effort was treated to a barbecue lunch of hotdogs donated by Falls Brand Meats. Rodda Paint of Ontario, Ore., donated stain to be applied to the wooden docks. 
 “It’s a community thing. It’s a neat process,” Malay said. “When we’re done it will look like a park.” 
 The Idaho Department of Fish and Game stocks the pond with rainbow trout throughout the spring months. As the temperatures rise and the water warms in July and August, fish stocking stops, but that doesn’t mean the fishing stops. 
 Other fish species in the pond besides trout include catfish, bluegill and largemouth bass. Aerators keep the pond water circulating and oxygenated, which helps the fishery.
 The University of Idaho Extension office in Washington County and master gardeners planted drought resistant bushes and native plants at the community pond a few years ago. In addition to beautifying the pond area, the perennials also help prevent erosion and attract pollinators.
 Those who were involved in the creation of the pond almost a decade ago said the impetus was to create a fishing spot in town for kids. The property for the pond was donated, and the city also worked with the Union Pacific Railroad, which has tracks and property adjacent to the pond, to make the project happen. The initial grant to develop it was $90,000. 
 The grand opening, according to information on the bulletin board, was Oct. 7, 2009.


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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