Changes at Grover Nelson Park Mean Better Fishing

Casting a line and reeling it in. That's how Ty Barfield likes to spend his free time.

"It's something to get out of the house, it's something to do that's doesn't involve drinking or illegal activities," said Barfield.

Barfield just discovered a new fishing hole.

"Id i just haven't been catching anything so I just looked up what's the closest pond and i found this one and I didn't even know we had one," said Barfield.

The pond he found is at Grover Nelson Park and little did he know efforts are being made by the city of Abilene and Texas Parks and Wildlife to make sure all visitors get a good catch.

"We've been very very busy and a lot of these efforts are not just to make fishing better but also to improve the quality of the experiences people can experience in the park as well as improve life for wildlife in these ponds and at the park," said Michael Homer Junior of Texas Parks and Wildlife's fisheries department.

Those improvements following damage caused by domesticated birds being dropped off at the park, which ate away at plant life and caused aquatic problems.

"We've had a lot of water quality issues, we've had lack of habitat issues for fish which has resulted in lower population numbers for species that are usually targeted by our fishermen like large mouth bass," said Homer.

City volunteers and the fisheries department added new plants for fish to live on and habitats for them to live in. Fisheries also had to combat the issue of contaminated water, that caused a fish kill just last summer.

"We have a lot of nutrient input into these ponds, which can cause some oxygen issues during the summer  in our water quality," said Homer.

Texas Parks and Wildlife brought in windmills to aerate the pond to help the fish thrive. Now that new elements have been added to help the ecosystem, Texas Parks and Wildlife wants Abilene residents to enjoy the benefits.

"We're going to be stocking channel catfish every two weeks for the neighborhood fishing program and that's something we provide for kids and families as a way to have a convenient fishing opportunity close to home," said Homer.

An idea Ty Bakerfield can get behind.

Ty barfield/angler
"i think the more fish you get out here the more poeple fishing and  fishing is just a great activity for the family,"
Ty barfield/angler
"i want to catch a bass here but i'll catch anything. I'll be happy with any fish,"

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