By Rob Everingham
If youve been out by Rotary Pond lately, you can see what is happening. The Hill County road department has started removing the gravel washed into the pond in the flood early last summer.
The issue went before the Beaver Creek Park Board and work started Monday around 12 noon putting up fences with help of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Hill County road foreman Jerry Otto said they will be removing between 9,000-10,000 yards of gravel from Rotary Pond.
The road department received the permits last week from FW&P.
Otto said everything is going very well at this point.
The flood of 98 washed a load of the road departments crushed gravel and in this project they will be running the rock through a screen to separate the smaller crushed gravel and the larger rocks that were washed in during the flood.
Otto said they will be putting the rock up on the next level above the creek.
When finished with Rotary Pond they will be laying down top soil and then reseed the area. After which the road department will assist FW&P in digging out some larger pools in the creek itself to help with fish habitat.
Also with the help of Park Superintendent Bernie Golie they will be putting in some camp sites on the upper side of the pond.
Golie said they are not sure where or if the campsites will go in.
It depends on how it comes out, Golie said.
As far as the park goes, Golie said it is a pretty busy area and the work will give more area for fishing. He also stated that the area will be better overall and with the area being one of the most popular in the park the new campsites will help out a lot.
FW&P fish biologist Kent Gilge said he is working with the road department to make sure there is no damage to the creek. As far as how the fish in Rotary will handle the changes, Gilge said they will be a little irritated but their should be no long term damage if everything goes according to plan.
If it goes according to plan it is a real win/win for the county and the sportsman, Gilge said.
The overall plan will improve the habitat and enlarge the pond which will benefit the fish.
Otto said they should be done by the end of next week.
The current crossing to the other side of the creek will stay in place and Otto said they are not taking out the crossing. Golie also added the crossing will stay.