State won't abandon Lake Etling; county sportsmen say no to stocking of pike

Ty Harper with the state fish and game appeared before a crowd of about 20 concerned sportsmen on Wednesday night to assure them the lake wouldn't be abandoned.

However, the county residents answered no when asked about the possibility of stocking the lake with Northern Pike again.

Ted Smith responded that local sportsmen felt the lake had become an experimental station when the fish had last been introduced.

Dale Harper spoke up and said that when the Pike were in the lake, no other fish were caught.

The response from the spokesman, “It's you guys lake, we won't put them in.

It was recommended that since the lake was low a clean-out might be needed.

Don Prather and others asked about getting the natural springs feeding the creek excavated and about the possibility of a rock under the dam's gate removed.

Harper dismissed the rock as rumor, telling the crowd that dye had been introduced to find a leak; with no results.

However, several of those present, including Prather said that water could be heard running through the spillway.

Contacted by phone, former Game Warden Pat Weldon told The Boise City News that in the late 1970s, early 1980s, several rocks had been removed from the “well” that fed the flood gate on the spillway.

“We had opened the gate to drain the lake down so we could work on the lake. When we tried to close the gate it wouldn't close. it was full of rocks,” Weldon remembered.

“Nearly all the guys that helped me haul those rocks out are dead,” Weldon said. “But we got them all out but one. I couldn't pick it up. I rolled it away from the gate and had a steel top made for the well so no other rocks could be rolled into it. Then I chained and padlocked the gate, hoping no one would ever open it,” Weldon explained.

But, according to Weldon another ranger did just that; opened the floodgate when the lake was full.

“I've had people tell me they can hear water running through the spillway. Others have told me they put dye in the well and watched for a leak and no dye appeared. That rock might have rolled into the pipe. But it wouldn't be hard to look and see,” Weldon said.