Those hoping to catch the lucrative spring fishing below the Winfield lock and dam will be disappointed. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says delays in their work on a bank stabilization project will put off completion.
"There were additional seeps and springs located on the banks that needed to be addressed. That required some additional time and materials,” said project manager Mike Keathley. "Unfortunately that’s put us into the winter weather and the remaining work, which includes a lot of concrete placement, will be delayed until the spring when the weather breaks."
Originally officials had hoped to have the projected completed by April 1st. The new target date for completion is June 30th.
The work aimed to address ground water problems causing riverbank slippage. Now that those have been repaired, Keathley says the attention turns toward phase two of improving public access to the waterway.
"Constructing the actual walkway and fishing access trail which will lead from the upper parking area down to the water’s edge,” Keathley tells 58-WCHS. "It’s a concrete pad on grade along the water’s edge just below the hydropower facility. It will be about 50-feet in length with a concrete ramp with less than a five-percent grade up to the parking area. It will make it easier for folks to get in there. You don’t have to climb over the rocks to get down to the fishing area."
Those who wish to stick with the old method and fish from the rip-rap banks will still be able to do so. New large stones will be installed downstream along the shore another 750-feet. The project will also include improvements of the existing parking area and creation of a new parking area further downstream.
Keathley says the rocks extend another 10 to 20 feet below the water surface and provide improved habitat for fish in the area.