Trout pond renovation delayed

Renovation and reconstruction of a once popular fishing pond has been temporarily delayed. The pond is located adjacent to the Downstream Campground below Garrison Dam.

Rob Holm, Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery manager, said the pond was forced to close due to it becoming overgrown with cattails and water outlets that became clogged, mostly by beavers utilizing the pond. The pond was drained last winter in preparation for renovation this year. The majority of the dirt work was completed earlier this summer, including the removal of an island that was contributing a great deal of silt to the pond.

“The shaping part of the project is complete,” said Holm. “They’ve had to postpone construction a bit. The hope now is to get grass and rip-rap done in September.”

Agencies contributing to the pond project are the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, Garrison Dam Hatchery and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The pond is on Corps’ land.

“Our main involvement has been to deepen the pond,” said Scott Gangle, NDG&F fisheries management leader.

In addition to making the depth of the pond approximately 12 feet, it was generally about six feet previously, the slope of the bank leading to the pond has been changed to make it much easier for fishermen to access the water once the pond is filled.

“That should prevent some cattail growth too,” said Scott Elstad, NDG&F aquatic habitat supervisor. “We intend to do grass seeding and erosion control in September.”

The Corps has indicated they will be installing a metal fishing pier at the pond. It will be handicap accessable, including a walking path leading to the pier. New signage is also expected to be placed in the area of the pond.

Water to fill the pond will come from the nearby hatchery by natural flow. The expectation is that the pond will be filled later this year.

“Once the water is in there we’ll put trout in there. No doubt,” said Holm.

– Kim Fundingsland