At a Glance …
• New pond inlet and parking area to open soon near Loudy-Simpson Park’s east pond.
• The improvements are designed to give residents better fishing access.
• The project was finished earlier this spring.
• Commissioner: Moffat County Road and Bridge Department crews completed improvements at minimal cost.
“If you’re handicapped or disabled, you can drive right down next to it and still go fishing.”
— Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers about a new inlet and parking area near Loudy-Simpson Park’s east pond.
Fishing enthusiasts will soon have an easier way to cast their lines into Loudy-Simpson Park’s east pond.
This winter, county crews added a shallow pool to the pond on the east side of South Ranney Street. Improvements also include a parking lot and, if Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers’ plans come to fruition, a few picnic tables, he said.
The pond, which is part of Loudy-Simpson Park, is a known but under-used fishing destination, said Lennie Gillam, Moffat County maintenance and facilities director.
“I don’t think it gets fished as much over there because there isn’t as much access to it,” he said.
The new fishing hole was completed around late February or early March, Gillam said. Residents shouldn’t have to wait long to try it out, but the exact date of its opening is unknown.
The headgate for both of Loudy-Simpson’s ponds washed out Monday morning, he said, and water levels in ponds on both sides of Ranney Street were dropping rapidly.
“Once we address that issue, then I’ll have a better idea of when they’ll be able to open it up,” he said.
Mathers and Commission Chairman Tom Gray helped spearhead the project, which included excavating what was once a small gravel pit and converting it into an inlet.
As Moffat County Road and Bridge Department crews dug out the pit, they removed gravel that can later be used for road projects, Mathers said.
A dry winter allowed the project to start around the first of the year, and it also cut down on costs.
Road and Bridge employees, who would typically be plowing snow in a normal winter, were put to work on the project. As a result, the cost of the pond revamp came down to “about nothing,” Mathers said.
Converting the pit into a pond also addressed another issue.
During the summer months, pedestrian traffic across South Ranney Street increases as residents try to get to the east pond.
“And we felt like if we did a parking area over there and a place to fish, they could just pull into there and they wouldn’t have the (foot) traffic back and forth across the highway,” he said.
The new setup also gives better access to the waters.
“If you’re handicapped or disabled, you can drive right down next to it and still go fishing,” Mathers said.
The next step in the pond’s evolution is fixing two aerators that will make the conditions more suitable for fish, he said.
And as for the picnic tables?
It’s one piece in a plan to make the fishing hole “a destination,” Mathers said.
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