Anglers gather for free fishing day

About 300 people participated in free fishing day on June 13 at Lake Mead. Slightly overcast and cooler than usual for this time of year, the weather cooperated, except for a few gusts of wind. This was a joint event with Nevada Department of Wildlife, National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation and Public Lands Institute.

Although folks around the state enjoyed free fishing day at all fishable waters, this event was organized to “hook” folks on the fun of fishing, by learning techniques and trying out equipment. The Nevada Division of State Parks also celebrated the day by granting free access for anglers at all water-based state parks.

Kids and adults came to Lake Mead to borrow poles and get free casting lessons. They also learned which bait to use and how to hook it up. Other activity stations included identifying Nevada’s native fish, making fish prints and learning about local wildlife. The raffle, with prizes for both adults and children, included fishing poles and reels, bait packs and fishing tools and stools. Donations came from the Southern Nevada Chapter of Trout Unlimited, as well as Bass Pro.

The day’s catches included striped bass, carp, and bluegill. Both kids and adults reeled in some trophies. One woman celebrated beginner’s luck during her first time fishing, with her catch of a bluegill. And it wasn’t just fish that were caught. Someone netted a red-eared slider, but immediately released it back into the lake. Boating anglers in the area saw the crowd and moved in to take advantage of the increased fish activity.


Groups work together to remove dam

Nevada Department of Wildlife and Nevada State Parks will be working together this fall to remove Schroeder Dam in Beaver Dam State Park, east of Caliente.

The dam, built in 1961, was severely damaged during a storm in January 2005 and was breached shortly afterwards to avoid catastrophic failure. Goals of the project are to remove hazards, including exposed mud flats behind the dam, and return the dam site and streams that fed the reservoir to a natural state.

Work will begin mid-September and is scheduled for completion by Thanksgiving. For safety reasons, access to the Beaver Dam Park entrance roadway will be closed intermittently, and use by the general public limited during certain construction activities from about Sept. 7 through Thanksgiving.

Hunters who drew big game tags in the area may be affected, and NDOW will notify them of road closures to allow for early planning.

After the dam was breached in April of 2005, federal and state agencies confirmed that the unusually high historic sedimentation rates had compromised the reservoir’s capacity and its ability to absorb flood waters.

Experts agreed that repair of the dam was not feasible.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently approved funding to remove the dam. The FEMA funds will be matched with Nevada Question 1 Bond Initiative funds 3-to-1 for an estimated project cost of $2 million.

Local contractors will be invited to bid on the various contracts.

Those on state bidding lists will be notified, and others can watch for notices in Reno and Las Vegas builder’s exchanges and the local newspaper.

When work begins in the fall, between six and 10 workers will be required for an estimated eight weeks. Construction crews are expected to stay in the area; that plus fuel and supply expenditures will provide a boost to the local economy.

For more information, contact NDOW Project Manager Lisa Schettler at (775) 688-1564.

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