The kids are in "the pond" - Ell Lake update

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Jim Wheeler, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. Jim Wheeler

    Jim Wheeler Full time single dad and pram builder

    As of yesterday afternoon 100 "catchable" fish were introduced into Ell Lake and all seemed very "happy" with their new home. I know because I went and helped cart them down and release them into the lake. They ranged in size from 8" or so up to about 12-13". The scud population is unbelievable and backswimmers (yep, I was surprised too being spring but we scooped up 3 in the buckets we were using) were also evident so growth should be incredible in these fish. Not sure how they will survive the winter though. There are quite a few of us (I think 4 at this point) who have committed money to the project to upgrade the aerator at the lake which is why the fish died in the first place. So boys and girls, there you go. Be kind to my little friends in the lake and do all the right catch and release procedures but have at it!!! Give me a call if you need someone to go with.

    And please, if you would like to thank the one who was instrumental in obtaining the fish for this project, or better yet donate money induvidually or from your fly club or group to install a new "screw type" aerator in the lake you can contact Bob Jateff at in Winthrop. If we can promote this project we can get a work party in the fall to complete the project. I would like to think that we all benefit from this and many other lakes in this region. Even though I joke that it's my "private lake" it is obvious, from many of your comments and phone conversations I have about prams that the lakes in this area, specifically Ell Lake, have left memories for many of you for a lifetime. With the state not having a clue how to spend our money this is one project we can take control of and manage complete by our support and effort.

    Happy catch.......and releasing! Remember, I can see you from my front window!!! lol Call me if you need a guide. I'll go if I can get away. DSCN3098.JPG DSCN3097.JPG DSCN3096.JPG

    Jim Wheeler
    Spring Creek Prams
  2. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

    Bravo Jim, I haven't been to Ell in a long time. My last visit it seemed more like Dot than Ell. I'm going to contact Bob and see what we can do as an online community.
  3. Topstoy

    Topstoy Member

    Very nice Jim. I hope they survive. I may have to run over there one of these days to visit them.
  4. Scott Salzer

    Scott Salzer previously micro brew

    Got the following response from Bob:

    I think it might be best to wait a few years on Ell, before putting too much effort there. The water level needs to come up quite a bit more first. Even if an aerator were put in now, I still think the lake is too low to allow any overwinter survival. The best thing might be to continue to put larger rainbows in the spring and allow them to get to a good enough size for summer/fall fishing (similar to what we now do at Little Twin in the Winthrop area).
  5. Jim Wheeler

    Jim Wheeler Full time single dad and pram builder

    Thanks Scott. Bob and I have been talking about this for about 6 years now. When we were stocking fish yesterday we also talked about the aerator and we thought we could go either way. An aerator isn't a flash in the pan, one time thing. It takes maintenance not to mention the initial expense which, when we looked into it about 5 years ago was in the $4,000 range. So, getting folks to commit to the project now ensures it can happen at a moments notice instead of scrambling for money at the last minute. We also talked about the water level and fish survivability and, at the time we thought that the bigger fish just might make it due to the added water level. We'll see. Either way, I thank Bob for his efforts in making Ell fishable again and taking the time to listen to the fly fisherman of which he is one.

    triploidjunkie likes this.
  6. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    If 160 people would contribute $25 each that would cover the 5 year old price. Assuming the price increased the donation amount (or number of donors) could be adjusted. I'd contribute once the water issue is resolved.
  7. Scott Salzer

    Scott Salzer previously micro brew


    Thanks for the additional comments. Obviously, you are way better informed on this issue and I'll look forward to your future reports / comments.

    Thanks for your efforts.

  8. Bob Rankin

    Bob Rankin Active Member

    I think its great you guys are doing what you can to help the lake get back to what it used to be. I cought some of my first trout on a fly there. When I had my cabin up bench creek I used to fish Long, Round and Ell, I would drive down and fish in the morning and be back before the wife woke up. That is a great place to be. I wanted to tell you thanks for the tractor seat and the speedy shipment, it works great in my pram.

  9. bakerite

    bakerite Active Member

    I loved that place in the late 70's and 80's, caught some great fish . Even if they don't make it through the winter there could be some fun fishing there in the summer and fall. I used to fish sullivan pond by Winthrop which was a similar deal. The catchables they planted in there in the spring would be at least 16" fattys by the fall. thanks for working on this.
  10. triploidjunkie

    triploidjunkie Active Member

    I'm willing to contribute to the cause, but like the good bio said, I'm going to wait until at least next year to start getting too excited. I learned chironomid fishing there in the late nineties from an elderly gentleman that kindly took me under his wing. Well, after I swallowed my pride and asked what the secret was. I had been having reasonable success using damslefly nymph, or a scud. But this guy was on fire. He would release a fish and already have another by the time I glanced back over he was hooked up again. I had watched a couple guys school my on my homewater the weekend before, so I was intrigued to say the least. We both were coming in for a break, so I meekly asked what he was using. After he told me what he was using, and I told him about the guys I witnessed, he offered up a couple and told me how to set them. I politely declined the flies, and told him I would prefer to learn how to tie them myself. We both were carrying portable tying kits, and sat there at the boat launch tying chironomids for a good hour. I wish I could remember that old mans name, probably closest thing I ever had to a mentor. I was probably seventeen.
  11. triploidjunkie

    triploidjunkie Active Member

    Any updates Jim? How did "the kids" fare over the summer, any survivors? Water levels stay fairly stable? I almost went up there this fall, but I never made it before closing time.