Commissioners chime in on fishing pond

LOCK HAVEN — The Northcentral Fish and Boat Commission recently decided that fishing in the pond at Nature Park, in McElhattan, will no longer be allowed.

The Wayne Township Recreation Board and local residents are upset, wanting to know why.

They are not alone, as Clinton County commissioners addressed the issue at their Monday morning work session meeting.

The board noted that there will be public meeting 11:30 a.m. today at the park with Jake Wenrich, representative of the Clinton County Conservation District.

Township supervisor Dave Calhoun previously said Wenrich informed him that this year’s permit application has been rejected and the pond is not allowed.

The commissioners explained that the decision was made by the Northcentral Fish and Boat Commission and they should be at the meeting, too.

“I think the Fish Commission should be there to take these questions and concerns, and take the heat for that… not have it fall back on the county,” commissioner Paul Conklin said. “The primary authority is the Fish Commission. I don’t think Wenrich should bear the brunt, he’s just a messenger. The Fish Commission is probably not going to be there. They don’t want to be a part of that meeting, but it is them disallowing the permit.”

Commissioner Jeff Snyder said, “We had the permit before, and now all of a sudden we are not allowed to have a permit there anymore… why?”

“They should be there to say that,” responded Conklin. “Not our county’s representatives through the Conservation District.”

The pond has received a permit for the pond and a dock since 2016 and now that permit application has been rejected, according to Jane White, secretary-treasurer of the recreation board.

Calhoun said Wenrich told him the pond was in violation… that a clean stream is not allowed to be dammed up.

But, Calhoun said the pond is not on the main stream … that the overflow channel (pond) is off the main stream.

According to White, the Wayne Township Recreation board buys fish from the Cedar Springs Trout Hatchery to stock the pond which is open for fishing by children and handicapped people.