Brand new fishing docks are now in place at Idlewild Lake, thanks to a donation of $20,000 from the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC.
The installation of the docks is one important component of many going towards the rehabilitation and overall updates of the park area around Idlewild Lake. The docks will be fully wheelchair accessible once the final grading and trail work is completed over the next few months.
“We’re helping install fishing docks at popular lakes around the province, to reduce barriers to angling and enable greater participation in the sport” said Owen Schoenberger, manager at the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC’s Kootenay Trout Hatchery. “The new docks at Idlewild will provide easier access to fishing for people who may not own a boat or may not have a vehicle that is capable of getting to some of the more distant lakes on rough roads.”
As of April 1, 2015, the Freshwater Fisheries Society receives 100 per cent of fishing licence revenue, which it invests in services and infrastructure to support freshwater fishing in B.C. — such as the new fishing docks at Idlewild.
The Freshwater Fisheries Society also helped fund the dock that went in at Jimsmith Lake in 2015.
The Kootenay Trout Hatchery will be stocking 2,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout into Idlewild this year to create immediate fishing opportunities.
About 1,300 were released into Idlewild Lake Thursday morning, June 1, with the remaining 700 being released in a few weeks. Jimsmith already received 2,000 rainbows earlier this spring.
“We are very excited to have the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC make such a significant contribution to the redevelopment of Idlewild Park,” said Chris New, Director of Leisure Services with the City of Cranbrook.
“As we went through the public engagement process, it was great to hear many stories people had of fishing the lake throughout their youth. These two docks will provide excellent fishing opportunities.
“We are also working with others such as the Blue Lake Forest Education Society to develop fish habitat structures in the lake, to further enhance fishing opportunities.
“We have also included a new earthen jetty, which among other uses; will provide an excellent fishing platform, especially useful for people wanting to learn fly-fishing technique.”
The City of Cranbrook stated that it is important to recognize that these docks are not to be used as swimming docks. Swimming is still not currently permitted in Idlewild Lake.
Moving ahead through the summer months, many more projects are scheduled for Idlewild including a new viewing pier, a family pavilion, a full accessible trail, washrooms and playground.