Dove Hollow now rebuilt

·3 min read

Jul. 18—GLENDALE — A one-time high level fishing pond at Glendale Fish and Wildlife area is rebuilt, restocked and making a comeback.

A collaborative project between Glendale, DNR Public Access South and state fish hatcheries renovated the area, despite some unexpected hurdles.

"We call it a marsh, but it is more like a pond. We have always maintained a high-water level there with a pool by the dam. It was built in the early to mid-1980s," said Glendale property manager Rob Sullender. "The culvert that went through there was over 30 years old and needed to be replaced. That required us to drain Dove Hollow and put in a new one. While we were doing that, we wanted to redo the fishery. At one point the bass became so large that the lake became catch and release only for bass. It had bass 18 inches and larger."

The project began in 2019 and seemed to be sailing along when Hurricane Hanna made landfall.

"Then that hurricane happened and the remnants of that dumped a ton of rain in there and basically the new drain control could not handle it. The water went over it and washed out the new fill and blew that structure out," said Dave Kittaka, District 5 Fish Management Biologist with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife.

"There is a pretty large watershed that drains into that," said Sullender. "We had a lot of rain and that caused some damage. We had to start over, dig that out again and reset it."

The damage added an additional delay because crews wanted to make certain they would not have a similar issue in the future.

"Once they reset that drain control structure, they kept the water level low on purpose, just to let the dirt around the structure to settle and pack in," said Kittaka.

While all of the construction work, officials took all of the fish out of Dove Hollow and planned to restock the lake in the fall. But the construction issues delayed that for almost a year.

"These fish were one year old when they put them in. The delay with the dam rehab forced us to leave the fish in the hatchery," said Kittaka. "On average the fish are a little bit bigger. Our biggest bluegill there is around 7". Same with redear, our biggest redear was 7.5". In the southern part of the state large-mouth bass usually grow a little more. Our largest bass was 9.8". The average length was 8.2". In our latest survey we found the fish are now reproducing. We have found off-spring in the lake so they are well on the way."

The Dove Hollow Project is complete. It not only included the replacement of the drainage structure, but an updates boat ramp and work along the shoreline and the dam. And of course, a restocking of a lake that gets a lot of visitors.

"It's a 19 or 20 acre body of water. That pond gets used pretty frequently. It had declined after the last few years. It is now a nice little pond where you can put a small boat on it and troll around and catch bass and bluegill," said Sullender. "We've got eight good ponds where people can fish. We keep those up. Not everybody wants to go out on the big lake."

"I feel very good about the project. When we last did an evaluation, we found a sample of every fish we stocked in the lake and we did not find any samples of fish we did not stock," said Kittaka. "I feel really good about how it has turned out so far. The joint effort was important to get this done."