When Aaron Graybill moved into the neighborhood near Bowles Grove Park from Denver last year, he hoped that the small pond in the park would give him and his kids the opportunity to catch some fish.
But they found the fishing in the pond near the intersection of Bowles Avenue and Federal Boulevard to be not so good. The pond has been stocked in the past with largemouth bass, crappie, perch and bluegill, but is not currently stocked, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s fishing atlas.
“We only tried once or twice and didn’t catch anything,” Graybill said.
He said that fishing during the summer proved a challenge because of low water levels, meaning he would have to cast over about 20 feet of mud to reach the water.
Steve White, a park planner with South Suburban Parks and Recreation District, said the water level of the pond, which is fed out of Bowles Reservoir, fluctuates based on the district’s water shares. He said that unstable levels may be why the pond is not stocked, but it could also have to do with poor water quality.
The quality of the water is being addressed along with a number of other issues at the park in a series of improvements that are in the works, White said. The district is applying for a $300,000 Arapahoe County Open Spaces grant for the park, and aeration and water conditioning for the pond is part of the project. Though the main purpose of the pond upgrade is to alleviate a foul odor emanating from the pond that neighbors have complained about, White said that a higher quality of water could probably better support fish populations.
There are a few fish in the pond. Graybill said he saw multiple bass swimming in it recently. He fly fishes on the South Platte River and acknowledges that there are other places to drop a line, but the prospect of what could be a decent fishing hole near home that families could use is inviting. Growing up in a small town in New Hampshire, he was able to ride his bike to a variety of fishing spots and would like a similar experience for his kids.
“It’s right in the neighborhood,” he said.