Dickinson Dike gets a face liftLocal fishing spot, the Dickinson Dike, has gotten a minor face lift and officials plan to restock the water with more fish next spring.
By: Lisa Call, The Dickinson Press
Local fishing spot, the Dickinson Dike, has gotten a minor face lift and officials plan to restock the water with more fish next spring.
Points along the dike, where anglers fish and hikers can rest on benches, were deteriorating and several groups, including the Southwest Anglers Association, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, the city of Dickinson and Dakota West Resource Conservation and Development Council, are teaming up to fix the area.
“The whole thing was literally just falling away,” said Jared Andrist, Dakota West RC&D coordinator.
Possibly from a harsh winter, erosion caused large rocks on the points to fall away and consequently, water seeped behind the erosion blanket used to keep the dirt in its formation.
The seepage caused the points to slope and balloon out, diminishing the shoreline, Andrist said.
After the dike’s water level was lowered, Ken Stoppleworth and Kevin Frederick of Stoppleworth & Sons, Inc., reformed the points and placed new erosion blanket around the points.
The entire blanket was then covered with rocks in an effort to stop the erosion.
“If they were to put just rocks on the soil the thing would erode away again,” Andrist said.
After a massive fish winter kill last winter, the dike will be restocked in the spring, said Jeff Merchant, NDGF fisheries technician.
Before the winter kill, the dike contained bass and bluegill and after the winter kill, they were restocked in early summer.
Catfish and rainbow trout are stocked every spring and bass and bluegill are only stocked if there is a winter kill, Merchant said.
“Trout don’t always survive the winter out there,” Merchant said. “In fact, a lot of times they don’t even survive the summer. It gets a little too warm for them.”
Merchant said the dike is open for fishing year-round, adding the dike will not be part of the fish kill planned for Patterson Lake and its tributaries as it is below the watershed.
Tenured fisherman Paul Quinn, of Dickinson, frequents the fishing spot.
“It’s been a little bit slow out there lately,” Quinn said, attributing it to the winter kill and the dike being “fished out” for the season.
Quinn said in years past, the dike has had some of the best largemouth bass fishing he has ever experienced.
These renovations were not the first for the dike.
Initially dubbed the Queen City Dam, the dike was used as a water station for railroad steam engines in the early 20th century, Andrist said.
“It just kind of fell into a swamp over the years,” he said.
In 2003, the dike underwent major renovations as part of the Save Our Lakes Program, organized by NDGF.
Those changes included a walking trail, enhanced fishing piers, improved water quality and fish and easier shoreline access, according to the NDGF Web site.
Several agencies partnered to make the project possible, including NDGF, city of Dickinson, Western Soil Conservation District, Stark County Water Resource District and Southwest Anglers.
“The project is wonderful,” Quinn said.