Longtime resident works to restore Burley Kids' Trout Pond

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BURLEY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Coming next summer, residents may be getting another option for fishing spots in Burley.

If you pass by Freedom Park, you may notice some construction. It's work being done on what's commonly known as the Burley Kids' Trout Pond in which the Idaho Fish and Game stopped stocking several years ago.

"We've had some issues with avian predation, mainly being pelicans and cormorants where they were getting the mass majority of the fish we stocked," said Douglas Megargle, regional fishery manager for the Idaho Fish and Game.

From there, the pond continued to deteriorate, and longtime Burley resident Richard Kicklighter noticed it over the years.

"It grew up with willows, mossed in. It had trash in it. It was just a poor little abandoned munghole," Kicklighter described.

In the 1970s, he recalled the time he came to the pond and caught some fish.

"Someone introduced me to this pond. We head a great time," he said. "We had one of those tiny little fishing pole and we'd cast a pole out and hand it to a youngster and watch those kids catch fish. Little kids don't reel, they run backwards."

With the declining conditions, he went to the city last October to ask the city about it. He told KMVT that the city told him they didn't have the money for the project, so he took it upon himself to revive the pond with the city's permission.

Water coming from under the airport already flows into the pond naturally at 57 degrees. After going through several agencies, he reeled in a couple of companies on board, volunteering their time and equipment to dig the pond deep enough at 15 feet.

"At 15 feet, moss cannot survive and the trout — it'll be (an) ideal habitat for the trout," he said.

With his efforts, the Idaho Fish and Game reserved a thousand rainbow trout to stock the pond next summer.

"This is something that six months from now when the weather is warm, everybody will be out there enjoying this," he continued. "This is a facility that we're building for the community."

He said the end goal is to make this pond self-sustainable, but he needs the community on board to help with $17,000 - $20,000 to fund materials and resources needed for the project.

All donations can be brought to the city of Burley offices or mailed to:

City of Burley Kid's Trout Pond
P.O. Box 1090
Burley, ID 83318

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