MCTA contributes to fishing pond project

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The Moffat County Tourism Association's board unanimously approved Wednesday contributing $5,000 to a fishing pond and park project at the Wyman Living History Ranch and Museum, east of Craig.

The MCTA money will be used to screen a culvert at the 1/4-mile ox-bow site, or a semicircle of water that used to be part of a river, making it an appropriate habitat for fish.

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"Your donation or support ... is going to be used towards leveraging (for other foundation grants)," MCTA director Shelly Flannery said to the board. "The thing that impresses me is I just feel like the Wyman museum is at a key location."

Flannery said MCTA supports the pond project because attracting visitors to the museum will draw them to Craig businesses, as well.

Nicky Boulger, office manager at the museum, is leading the project with museum owner Lou Wyman.

Boulger said she thinks if visitors spend time at the museum, they will spend a night or two in Craig.

"It's like Lou says, 'We want this to be a destination,'" Boul-ger said.

The fishing area would be designed for youths 16 and younger, senior citizens and those with disabilities.

Mike Bauman, district wildlife manager for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, said the DOW may stock the pond with fish appropriate for the site. If the agency does stock the pond, the fish could possibly be those taken from the Yampa River, as well as rainbow trout.

"The Division of Wildlife is constantly interested in entertaining new fishing opportunities that are accessible to the public," Bauman said. "It would be a great opportunity if we could get that open to the public. It's close to town and easy for people to go to."

The cost of the project, including dredging the site to 12 feet deep and leveling the ground, is $120,000. Boulger said that cost does not include building a picnic site.

MCTA is the second donation the museum has received. The first is $2,500 from the Kenneth King Foundation.

Boulger said she hopes to have fish in the pond by springtime.

She said she hopes to host many events at the museum -- part of Huck Finn Fun Day, summer concerts and ice carving demonstrations -- and building the pond is one step toward that goal.

Boulger is now applying for a number of other grants to make the pond a reality.

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or mperry@craigdailypress.com.

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