Northwood made good use of 50-60 trees donated by Menards by dropping them onto the frozen pond in Ranger Park two weeks ago.
The city, which opened the park last year, stocked a pond in the park with bass, perch, blue gill, and croppie to make it a popular fishing hole for the community.
The trees were tied together, in groups of eight, with a cement block. “When the ice melts, the trees will just sink into the water,” said Mayor Mark Stoner.
The trees will protect the pond’s smaller fish from predators, said Stoner.
Just after Christmas, Dave Long, the manager of Menards, called Stoner and asked if the city would be interested in the trees.
“If we didn’t put them on the ice, we were going to put them out at Nature Trails Park for rabbits to hide in,” said Stoner. “That’s where we stored them. Then we got that hard freeze for a long period. I told our streets department that we needed to get those out on the ice, so we did that last Friday.”
John Hageman, a fisheries biologist at Ohio State University, told Stoner that smaller fish need protection from larger fish to help keep the pond stocked. Hageman helped stock the pond and has advised the city on how to maintain it.
The city, which opened the park last spring, allows catch and release fishing at the pond.A fence surrounding the site has been locked since November, when the park closed. It will be reopened in the spring, said Stoner.
The city would like to plan a fishing derby in the park, he said, with the addition of deep water trout.
“We asked the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for trout to stock the pond,” said Stoner. “We’ve not heard anything back on that yet.”
The pond lacks enough oxygen to allow the trout to live very long at the depth it prefers, so it would be exempt from the catch and release rule, said Stoner.
“That would be fish that the public could catch and keep,” he said.
Trout need deep, cold water and a lot of oxygen.
“We thought about putting in a windmill and pumping oxygen into the pond, but there’s no proof that it works,” said Stoner. “It would be nice if it worked because it would be something green for the park.”
Stoner said fishing at the pond, which is 55-feet deep, was pretty good last year.
The park also has a walking path.
“The good thing is that the park is getting used by a lot of people,” he said.
Stoner praised Menards for its donation. The store also paid for a paved parking lot at the southeast end of the park along Curtice Road before it opened, which Stoner said cost about $20,000.
“They have been an excellent neighbor.”
Northwood City Council in 2007 passed an ordinance to develop the city owned property at I-280 and Curtice Road into a park.
The pond was created by contractors moving soil for construction of the Curtice Road overpass about 11 years ago.