Innisfail Lions Club is dangling the prospect that Dodd’s Lake could become a prime fishing hole.
The club has proposed stocking the lake to create a recreational fishing draw for visitors and locals.
“We’re just looking into the possibility of making more use of the lake,” said Tom Reinhart, who manages the Lions Club-run Anthony Henday campground next to the lake.
“I just thought that it would be an added feature for the campground if the people here could just walk down to the lake to go fishing, or for kids in town just to ride their bikes over there and go fishing.”
Several unsuccessful attempts were made previously to stock the lake but failed because the fish could not over-winter in the shallow lake.
Reinhart said they are testing to see if there is enough depth to try again. Other testing, for oxygen levels, contaminants, food supply and water temperature have been promising.
“So far, that’s all come back quite positive,” said Reinhart. “But we’re going to continue to do some testing through the summertime and we’re also going to test in the wintertime and determine what we can do.”
As luck would have it there was plenty of data available on the lake. A University of Calgary grad student working on her master’s thesis spent three years studying the lake.
“She’s quite keen to be involved,” he said.
Innisfail town council recently threw its support behind the initiative and the local fish and game association is also on board.
Should the lake prove too shallow, there are other options that could be considered.
“The other alternative that has never been tried before is to try and some aeration in the lake to keep it open so fish can survive through the winter,” he said.
Another possibility is to net the fish out of the lake every year before winter and then re-stocking in the spring.
“We’re going to have to restock it every year anyway.
“There are lots of options. It just a matter of coming up with something that works, that is feasible for everybody that is worth trying.”