Thursday, September 6, 2012
Under normal conditions, I'd either be swimming in the water or drowning here. But these are not normal conditions for the Anthony City Lake. There's not much water left.
Harper County resident Scott Figg is throwing his line into what’s left of the Anthony City Lake, hoping for a catch.
Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks issued a fish salvage order because of the low levels. It means anglers can take fish from the lake, including by snagging, seine, gig and hand.
"They issued that salvage tag for anyone, for any fish you want to take or for as many of them,” says Figg. “Be better than wasting them."
And right now fish are dying due to the lack of oxygen in the lake with the low water.
And while the water is so low, the lake is getting work done on it. Folks here say it has been needed for a long time.
"Like years and years and years. You can go back 20 years and everyone's wanted it to be dredged," says City Clerk/Administrator Amber Kummer.
And though technically this is an excavation project rather than a drudge, Kummer says it will help clean up the lake. You see, over the years, lakes like this fill with silt from water runoff.
She says, "From the city's standpoint we understand why the residents want it cleaned up but we also couldn't afford it."
So the city is selling what water is here to select energy services. It gets used in local oil exploration. The proceed then pay for this $1.5 million project to remove the silt.
"They're selling the water to the oil companies and we are getting ten cents out of every barrel that they sell,” Kummer says.
When this excavation work is all done, the lake should have more capacity to hold water. Now the question is when the rains will return to refill this lake.