Roundups precede pond renovations
By Danny Henley
HANNIBAL – The Huckleberry Park pond project is progressing. With almost each step of the way something different has been removed from the pond.
Among the first things to be removed by the parks and recreation department were the ducks and geese that lacked the ability to find a different body of water on their own.
According to Aron Lee, the city's assistant director of central services (parks), the roundup of waterfowl went well.
"It was pretty easy as far as the tame ones that couldn't fly," he said, explaining that the birds were funneled through snow fencing that was set up on the shore into a dog kennel. "They walked right in. It went smoothly. We didn't know how it would go."
A total of 21 ducks and geese were captured during the roundup, said Andy Dorian, the city's director of central services.
"The next day 12 more showed up from Mother Nature," he said.
"We had (Canadas) and mallards still there, but they could fly, they were wild," Lee said. "Since there was no water (in the pond) they found another spot."
The tame birds were taken to an undisclosed location.
"They are all in a very secure and safe location," said Dorian, adding that he and his family are taking care of the birds. "They are pretty fat and happy.
"As soon as we can get them back (to the Huckleberry Park pond) we will bring them back."
Other residents of the pond that were removed were fish – reportedly numbering in the hundreds.
"We were trying to kayak through the mud to try and retrieve as many as we could," Lee said.
"There were some fish that just couldn't make it, but they took out an enormous amount of fish," Dorian said, adding that the fish were relocated to the airport pond.
Some big fish were removed from the relatively small pond, that was said to be no more than 4 feet deep at its deepest point.
"There were a lot of carp in there, 20- to 30-pound carp," Lee said. "There were a lot of small catfish, along with a 20-pound flathead that we got out of there."
Not surprising because of its close proximity to the Don Crane Disc Golf Course, as the water level in the pond decreased more and more discs that had not cleared the water hazard started to become visible. A number of discs were recovered by people using rakes while standing on the shore.
"One guy found 25 of them," Dorian said.