JUNCTION CITY – The Milford Fish Hatchery Supply Lake, known locally as the Gathering Pond, located below the dam of Milford Reservoir will be open to fishing under reduced winter hours beginning immediately. The new winter hours will open the lake from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends only and will be in place through March 16, 2014.
Winter hours started Nov. 1 last year, but the decision was made to begin 2013 winter hours immediately after the recent government shutdown ended. On weekdays, the gate just beyond the River Walk Trail parking lot will be closed. Fishing is restricted to weekend days. Other activities such as wildlife viewing and hiking will be permitted by foot traffic during the weekdays.
The supply lake reopened in 2012 to restricted hours and controlled access after being closed when zebra mussels were discovered in Milford Reservoir in 2009. Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism staff were concerned about the potential for zebra mussels being introduced into the supply lake and ultimately into the hatchery. During the closure, staff worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop procedures designed to prevent zebra mussel infestation. Following the two-year closure, the lake was reopened with controlled access, limited hours and restrictions prohibiting boats and live aquatic bait. A gate attendant informs the public and conducts surveys. All efforts have been made to minimize the impact to recreational users during this time period. Spring/summer restrictions and hours will begin on March 17, 2014.