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Local conservation agents are excited about the possibilities at Richmond’s South Lake.
Ray County Conservation Agent Tammy Pierson along with Regional Fisheries Supervisor Harold Kerns and Biologist Eric Dennis met with city and park board officials yesterday about improvements to South Lake at Southview Park.
Upgrades to the lake would include better access to the lake for educational purposes. Pierson said her main concern is the amount of shoreline that she is able to access when teaching conservation to Richmond youth.
“That seems to be what I’ve dealt with when I’ve brought groups down there,” Pierson said. “There is just such a minimal area in which you can access right up to the water.”
Dennis said that he, along with Pierson and Kerns, shocked the lake in July and caught more than 70 bass in a 30-minute period. Dennis said they were excited about the results they received from the shock. He said the lake is abundant in large bass ranging from eight to 15 inches in size and in bluegill ranging from six to eight inches in size.
“It’s really ideal for kids’ fishing clinics,” Dennis said. “It’s really highly geared towards education because the bluegills are easy to catch, and bass that size are always hungry.”
Kerns said having a large population of bluegill is helpful when trying to teach impatient young fishers.
“They don’t understand it takes a long time to catch a five pound bass,” Kerns said. “But they can understand that every time they throw a worm out there they can catch a bluegill and that’s what hooks them to fishing.”
Pierson said adding a proposed floating dock would also be helpful in getting smaller children closer to the water without them actually getting into it.
“It’s ideal for my purposes,” Pierson. “It keeps the kids out of the water.”
Photo: Conservation agent Tammy Pierson helps Fisheries Regional Supervisor Harold Kerns measure a bass caught from South Lake while biologist Eric Dennis records the information. The agents shocked South Lake in July to monitor the fish population. (Photo by Russ Green/The Daily News)