The Parks and Recreation Commission of Gilbert is changing Water Ranch Lake to catch-and-release artificial flies and lures only. Twice before (2004 and 2008) similar proposals were defeated, with the Town Council voting against them. Hundreds of anglers — parents and grandparents with children, the elderly and the handicapped — use this lake weekly. Thousands who now fish this lake annually will be denied access unless they pay an additional fee above and beyond their urban license, and only if they are physically capable of fishing with lures only and then release any fish caught.
The P&R board members cite the recent opening of Discovery and Crossroads for anglers, but they are aware that these ponds are too small to absorb the anglers now using Water Ranch. They claim that they will provide bait fishing at Freestone Park as another alternative.
However, they know that unlike the deep well water charging Water Ranch, Keystone Park Lake is filled with reclaimed water unsuitable for keeping and eating fish caught there, and, in fact, is unsuitable to even sustain game fish, as previous efforts to stock it have failed.
This proposed change is merely another under-handed effort by an elite group of “sportsmen” to establish their own semi-private fishing preserve.
Please don’t let the elitists steal our lake!