New kids-only pond now open at Eagle Ranch
EAGLE — Is there a more quintessential, all-American image than a kid with a fishing pole?
Expect to see a lot of that vision around Eagle Ranch in the future
Saturday, the Eagle Ranch Association is officially opening its kids-only fishing pond, located adjacent to Capitol Street and just past the Brush Creek bridge. The grand opening celebration is scheduled to take place from 9 to 11 a.m.
The Eagle Ranch Wildlife Committee and the town of Eagle have created the fishing pond specifically for kids under age 14. Colorado Parks and Wildlife have stocked the pond with trout and young anglers can bring home up to two fish per day, with no license required. Colorado Parks and Wildlife will provide fishing poles and pointers during Saturday’s grand-opening event.
“The goal of the project was to give young kids a place to learn to fish and enjoy fishing,” said Scott Turnipseed, one of the representatives on the Eagle Ranch Wildlife Committee.
The new fishing pond was created by deepening an existing pond, selected after consideration of several alternatives because of its location and water quality. Construction was completed by Flywater Inc. of Fort Collins.
While the ultimate prize was 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’s features include:
• Stabilization of the bank between the pond and Brush Creek, to minimize the possibility of that bank being washed out.
• Construction of a crushed rock path from the nearby bike trail 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 fish.
$125,000 PRICE TAG
The Eagle Ranch Wildlife fund financed the construction, estimated at $125,000. The wildlife fund itself is financed by a .2 percent transfer tax on all property sales in Eagle Ranch. The town will be responsible for pond maintenance and the Eagle Ranch Wildlife Committee will provide some funding for a limited amount of time to assist in the costs.
Jamie Harrison, the Eagle Ranch Wildlife Fund consultant for the project, said the fishing pond was driven 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,” Harrison said.
On any given day, kids already attempt to fish the Eagle Ranch ponds, but as a young angler found out Friday, the success rate at the new pond is vastly improved. The early angler said he got all his work done early, so he didn’t have school. When he took his pole out to the new pond, he caught nine fish.
“The pond wasn’t even open officially yet, and this boy is fishing after the morning school bell,” said Eagle Town Manager Jon Stavney. “That is a Colorado boy.”