Fishing haven for young anglers planned in Eagle | VailDaily.com

Fishing haven for young anglers planned in Eagle

The Eagle Ranch Pond located closest to Capitol Street will be transformed to a children's fishing hole, compliments of a $125,000 project financed by the Eagle Ranch Wildlife Fund.

EAGLE — Young anglers will soon have a special, not-so-secret fishing hole in Eagle.

Through a partnership between the Eagle Ranch Wildlife Committee and the town of Eagle, a fishing pond just for kids is being constructed in Eagle Ranch. Once completed, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will stock the pond with trout.

The new fishing pond will be created by deepening the existing pond adjacent to Brush Creek just south of Capitol Street. This pond was selected after consideration of several alternatives because of its location and water quality. Construction by Flywater Inc. based in Fort Collins, will begin Monday, August 3. Completion is anticipated in late August.

"Nearby residents and businesses need to be aware that there will be some significant odor during the early stages of construction, as material is dredged from the bottom of the existing pond and placed next to the pond for dewatering and removal," said John Staight, Eagle Open Space Coordinator.

While the ultimate prize is to provide a place where young kids can enjoy fishing, the project features other benefits. A feasibility study, including geotechnical site evaluation, was completed but because the project will have no permanent impacts on wetlands, it did not require a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The pond features include:

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Stabilization of the bank between the pond and Brush Creek, to minimize the possibility of that bank being washed out.

Construction of a soft (crusher fines) path from the nearby bike path to the edge of the pond.

Deepening of the pond to allow fish to survive during warm weather months. The fish are not expected to survive through the winter.

Construction of a concrete pad at the north edge of the pond suitable for wheelchair use.

Construction of two benches.

Installation of boulders along the edge of the pond.

Installation of a solar-powered aerator to help minimize algae growth and help ensure that the water is sufficiently oxygenated for the fish. Eagle Ranch Wildlife

The Eagle Ranch Wildlife fund is financing the construction, estimated at $125,000. The wildlife fund itself is financed by a 0.2 percent transfer tax on all property sales in Eagle Ranch.

"This particular project is driven in large part by requests from the community. This is seen as an amenity that will be a benefit for Eagle Ranch residents as well as all town of Eagle residents," said Jamie Harrison, the Eagle Ranch Wildlife Fund consultant for the project.

Harrison noted that on any given day, you can already see kids attempting to fish the various Eagle Ranch ponds. "I think this will be much more productive," he said with a laugh.

Signs at the new pond will note the amenity is intended for kids age 14 and younger. A fishing license will not be required for child anglers and they will be allowed to take home fish they catch, with a two fish per day limit. Harrison said the town is mulling over any additional rules for the site because the pond is located on Eagle Open Space and will be open to the public.

When complete, the town will take over maintenance of the pond. The Eagle Ranch Wildlife Committee will provide some funding to the town for a limited amount of time to assist in the costs of maintenance.

Harrison said the construction is slated to last two to three weeks and should be done by the end of August.

"We are hoping to have a grand opening celebration in early September," he said.