Monday, August 30, 2010

Gettin’ dirty at the Projects

(Above: Looking southwest at the tire project with the dock project further in the distance. Everyone is bustling to get as much done before the high temperatures kicked in. It’s more fun than it looks.)

Aside from the lake adoption and favorite fishing hole cleanups, I also like to get down and dirty volunteering for projects (if they are not too far to travel and they somehow fit into my fishing schedule). A private lake membership that controls a lake outside of Longmont had a call for volunteers at their lake that was drained in 2009. Currently the water issues have been settled and the lake is getting filled back up with water and fish. Now is the perfect time to get in there and do a few projects. The projects were few but laborious and very close to muddy edge. There was a structure project and a dock-rebuilding project to go along with their usual cleanup and seasonal maintenance.

Repair the Dock

Weather in Colorado can be a constant barrage of wind, rain, snow and dry heat. These elements combined take a huge toll on everything from picnic benches to outhouses. The dock was showing signs of this weather and in desperate need of repair. The bottom boards were deteriorating quite a bit. These were replaced along with some new Styrofoam pieces as well as switching out a few rusty bolts.

(Above: Close up of the dock project looking northwest. This project was quite a bit of work and the guys kicked butt. Could have got to play with the chainsaw and a few other power tools had I shown up earlier.)

Adding Structure

Originally this lake was little more than a big hole of dirt filled with water for irrigation. When Foothills took over the recreation lease the first thing they started doing was improving structure and water quality. Water quality has been increased by the addition of rock and sand to the mud\dirt base helping control erosion. Elements such as larger rocks, brick and tires are also added for fish structure. This structure gives an area for creatures and smaller fish to congregate. This will also aid and attract larger predator fish as a result.

(Above: Tire project, this is the project I worked on and was the person that grabbed the tire with the hornets’ nest. We actually set that tire up using no bug spray whatsoever and didn’t get stung. How is that even possible? Usually they gang up on me at the first sign of my presence.)

Wired and bolted together, these tires were then anchored down with bricks so they would not end up on shore after a few months of heavy wind. The members say they run their sonar over the already existing structure in the spring and see numbers of fish as opposed to sporadic fish here and there across the incline.

Tire disclaimer: I feel it prudent to state that tires are not my favorite type of structure to use. Even though a lot of great fishing spots have been using tires for nearly a century without any issues, I prefer to use strictly natural elements to avoid any possible chemical contamination regardless of how small. It is my belief that tires can exude toxic chemicals as they degrade or have toxic chemicals sprayed on them such as “fix a flat” or others. These toxic levels are often very minor. We are talking parts per million at best but 100% natural means less possible problems. I am a bit of a purist in this regard, hence the disclaimer.

(Above: Nice shot of the lake through the picnic area looking west. The lake itself is 200 surface acres when at average volume. For more information about these guys and this lake, please contact me at Coloradocasters@yahoo.com)

The lake is in rebuilding mode right now and the fishing won’t be fantastic for a few more years. They have stocked some trout and a few small warmwater species. Hopefully these fish become healthy in time. These members and others volunteer to help out to make things better. They don’t control Mother Nature or ditch companies but do what they can when they can. A little goes a long ways and hopefully all of this effort pays back for these folks in years to come. I got pretty dirty and learned a great deal in the process. Met a lot of really cool people and took one more step forward in regards to making fishing better in Colorado.

Good luck and Good Fishing.

3 comments:

troutrageous1 said...

Good work outta you. Projects like that are always rewarding, especially in a few years when you stop by and see others enjoying the fruits of your labor. Kudos.

Coloradocasters said...

Thanks, man. I might have gone a little overboard with the title on this one.

BeMistified said...

This is awesome. Good to hear that is was a volunteer project and not something people were bribed to do. It will pay off in the future just as TR stated.