The trout fishery at Wood Lake on the Rocky Mountain Front suffered from a tough winter, resulting in the death of most of the fish, a Fish, Wildlife and Park fisheries biologist reports.
“Very few fish survived,” said Dave Yerk, FWP fisheries biologist. “Certainly, none of the older larger fish.”
Wood Lake is a popular fishing spot along the Benchmark Road west of Augusta but susceptible to winter kill.
Winter kill happens when no sun penetrates a snow-covered body of water for months at time. The aquatic plants die and use up most of the lake’s oxygen in the decomposition process.
“Winter kill is common in shallow weedy lakes, which Wood Lake is,” Yerk said.
Several years ago, FWP placed windmills at the lake that aerate the water. Wind turning the blades on the wind mills pumps air bubbles into the lake, creating open spots that do not freeze over.
“Even with the windmills, the winter was too much,” Yerk said.
FWP will restock the lake but it will be awhile before Wood Lake returns to its former glory.
“It’s going to be very slow for a couple of years,” Yerk said.
(via MT FWP)