Cub Scouts from Pack 65 in Harrah joined other volunteers last month to promote the Close to Home fishing program in south Oklahoma City.
The June 30 event gathered information about the viability of adding a flood detention pond to the program. If the effort is successful, the pond will join 35 other lakes and ponds that provide urban fishing opportunities.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife has been managing the fisheries in neighborhood ponds since 2000 with fish stocking, habitat enhancement, weed control, regulation enforcement and access improvement.
Pack 65 Cubs volunteered for their own Close to Home pond over the course of two weekends in June, 2010, building 100 “spider blocks.”
They are so named because arching segments of black pipe are secured in the center hole of a cinder block and the completed project resembles a spider. The habitats serve a purpose similar to brush piles, but don't degrade over time and are less likely to snag a fisherman's hook.
The fisherman's creed, “Bait your own hook, clean your own fish, tell your own lies,” went head to head with “A Scout is Honest” as youth and adults reported their catches for the day.
The count revealed 25 volunteers snagged 223 fish in a little over three hours. The catch, primarily of catfish, bass and perch, ranged in size from “bait” to three pounds.
The clinic brought together youth and adults from Norman, members of North Oklahoma City Jr. Bassmaster's Club and the Pack 65 Cubs for the cooperative effort between the Department of Wildlife and the city of Oklahoma City.
Located a half block from a school, the detention pond was dug deeper than normal, which allows fish to survive when there is no flooding, and helps keep them in place when there is.