June 14, 2005
MONUMENT - A ton of rainbow trout shot from water-filled tubes into Monument Lake on Monday afternoon, the first fish to swim there since 2001. Evelyn Spencer was waiting, two lines stretching into the water a few feet from the Boulder-based Cline Trout Farms truck, a net and tacklebox by her side.
“I came over to see how this (the lake) was doing,” said Spencer, 73, a Colorado Springs resident and lifelong angler. “Imagine my surprise when I saw the stocking truck here.” The ton of trout was a nearly $6,600 project by Monument businessmen Ernie Biggs and Steve Marks. Biggs owns the Lake of the Rockies campground on Monument Lake, and Marks owns Monument Plaza Shopping Center. Biggs said his business has been poor for three years, and he wants to see people back at the lake. “The whole town of Monument will benefit,” he said, adding that he isn’t sure whether business at his campground will rise enough to justify the cost. The lake was drained four years ago during repairs on a weakening dam. Until this spring, drought had kept it empty. Late last month, the Colorado Springs City Council approved a deal with the town that allows Monument to begin refilling the lake. The Colorado Division of Wildlife, which stocked the lake for years until it was drained, also may stock it this summer. DOW spokesman Mike Seraphin said that the agency is waiting to see documentation of the town’s agreement with the city. The town encourages people to catch and release fish, but fishers are allowed to take them. An annual fishing license is $20.25 for Colorado residents. No license is required for children 16 and under. For more information, visit the DOW Web site at http://wildlife.state. co.us. CONTACT THE WRITER: 476-4817 or email@example.com