The Echo Glen Fishpond in Gibbons is getting a makeover.
For years, the residents of Gibbons have used the pond to fish, gather, and hold events. In a typical year, summer would see kids flock to the pond for Pioneer Days to test their fishing skills. The pond is stocked annually with trout from the Alberta Conservation Association (ACA).
However, it’s been more than 20 years since the pond has been cleaned or enhanced in any way.
Over time, silt and other organic materials can build up at the bottom of the pond, which creates an unhealthy environment for the trout and other wildlife in and around the area.
“It has been something that’s been in need of structural maintenance for quite a while,” described Eric Paterson, recreation and youth coordinator for the Town of Gibbons.
“The Alberta Conservation Association, they had a grant that was available. So, after a small discussion with them – and just the size of our project – due to COVID-19 and lots of projects unable to run, they thought it was a good idea to put a submission in for a grant.”
The ACA contributed nearly $40,000 towards the enhancement project. On the to-do list is digging and dredging the pond, installing a liner to prevent soil contamination and excess water loss, and beautifying the area.
“We’ve been looking forward to doing something to increase that angling experience for all the people that want to fish, all the kids that want to get into fishing. It’s going to just create an overall better experience for them,” said Paterson. “For the fish themselves, it’s just a better environment.”
Paterson continued, saying the digging and dredging of the pond had already been complete. The liner is currently being installed, and then the pond will be backfilled with clay and re-filled with water.
The town hopes to have fish back in the pond by mid-summer. Typically, this time of year is when fishing at the pond would begin for the season.
“For those people that already love fishing, and those people that want to learn to fish or people from out of town. It’s going to hopefully be a new attraction for people wanting to say ‘Hey, let’s go to Gibbons and check out their new fish pond,’ which would be great.”