Picture courtesy of the Peoria Journal Star.
Dixon's ponds will be opening as Hooked on Fishing Park this summer. The parks mission is
According to an article in the Peoria Journal Star, the goal is for kids to "catch a fish every cast." The ponds are fed by artesian springs and arranged in such a way that the cool spring water visits each of the 4-5 ponds before emptying into the Illinois River. This unique setup allows for unique possibilities such as trout, and I think they've got the right guys for the job. Herman Brothers Pond Management has been heavily involved and they're the premier pond management company around (well they at least advertise the most). Nate Herman maintains a blog and I've noticed a few posts regarding the HOF project. See here for his latest post on trap net surveys and see here for his outing with a high school fishing team (I hope that rainbow wasn't lost in recent flooding). Larry Dozard is also involved. Larry is a local fishing celebrity due to his thorough, and mostly reliable, fishing reports for central Illinois (yours truly is an occasional contributor).
- "to teach the sport and joy of fishing to local children, senior citizens, and special needs groups by providing the equipment, place, and education free of charge.."
In my most recent conversation with the Dixon's family contact, he mentioned we should go fish it this summer. I'm afraid doing so will first require some soul searching. I'd hate to use this privilege to undercut the good work being done but surely a couple hours won't hurt...
I think I'll wait until I can bring my own kids out to "catch a fish on every cast."