Atlantic Parks Board sworn-in/Director warns fish kill at SRA Lake 1 is coming

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department officially has two new members. Prior to the start of their regular meeting Monday evening, Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones recited the oath of office to incoming members Erin McFadden and Charlene Beane, who were elected to the Board during the November 5th City elections.

Erin McFadden (left) and Charlene Beane (Center) are sworn-in by Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones.

Erin McFadden (left) and Charlene Beane (Center) are sworn-in by Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones.

The new board then got down to business by electing their officers for the next two-years. It turns out there was no change, with Stuart Dusenberry having been re-elected as Chair, Mary Strong, Vice Chair, and Jolene Smith as Secretary.

During their meeting, Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring reported a fish kill can be expected soon in Lake number 1 at the Schildberg Recreation Area. Last month, Brian Hayes, Fisheries Biologist with the DNR reported to the Board the Gizzard Shad has overpopulated the lake and stunted the growth of other game fish.

Gizzard Shad fish

Gizzard Shad fish

Hayes said to deal with the menacing Gizzard Shad, the DNR will have to administer a dosage of Rotenone. Herring warned the Board that the DNR will be treating the lake possibly within the next week, or before the first ice freeze at the very least, and the result will be visually shocking to the point where the Board can expect calls from the public.

He said there will be a “sizable fill kill out there,” and will result in a lot of fish floating on top of the water. The media will be notified 48-hours in advance of the kill, which is designed to improve the fish population. While the floating fish carcasses might be a bit disturbing, Herring says Brian Hayes told him there is a plus side, in that the fish will attract predatory birds. That means there may be several Bald Eagles drawn to Atlantic. The rotenone will be in such small concentrations, that it will not harm the animals or birds that eat the fish which were killed by the chemical application.

In other business, the Atlantic Parks and Rec Board approved for remittance to the City Council, a draft of the Tobacco Free Policy for Sunnyside Park, with a slight modification. It was created using the City of Adel’s Ordinance which says tobacco use is prohibited in designated areas of City parks, trails, and outdoor recreational facilities, and all public building grounds at all times. Designated park areas include: restrooms, athletic fields and in the spectator areas of athletic fields during a sporting event; tennis courts; disc golf courses; playground areas; recreational trail rest areas; and any pavilions; shelters and benches located in a park or on a public ground.

Atlantic’s version would add the basketball court, but remove the disc golf course from the list of areas where the use of tobacco products would be prohibited. It would also be submitted as a proposed ordinance instead of a “Policy.” Herring said the police department is recommending it be submitted as an ordinance because it would be more enforceable than a “Policy.” The final version will be written by the City Attorney and presented before the City Council at a future meeting for their approval.