Stock Hopkins Lake – A True Fishing Gem for Owosso
by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
The 2019 Owosso Plunge for Parks is planned for Saturday, March 23 at Hopkins Lake. Inspired by the data presented in a DNR survey completed in May 2018, the Owosso Parks and Recreation Commission has decided to focus this year’s plunge fundraising effort to restocking the lake with fish, particularly Bluegill and Largemouth Bass. The previous survey on Hopkins Lake was completed in 1997, so new information was definitely needed. Fishing is popular at the Owosso-owned lake.
Perhaps the high point of the information provided in the survey shows the significance of Hopkins Lake as a fishing source, since it demonstrates that Hopkins Lake is generally a better fishing source than several similar nearby lakes – including Lobdell Lake, Fish Lake, Big Seven Lake and Buell Lake, to name a few.
Hopkins is described as a 7.9 acre, small kettle-hole lake with a maximum depth of 24 feet. The survey labels it as a “meso-trophic lake supporting a warm/cool water fish community.” The DNR collected 1,152 fish from 14 species in May 2018. Bluegill were the most abundant species collected, followed by Black Crappie and Largemouth Bass. A few species that were less anticipated included some catfish, perch and pike species in very low numbers – suggesting a river water connection, possibly from the Owosso Drain which is believed linked to the Maple River. Overall, the DNR determined that Hopkins Lake, having a southern shore that at one time was the city garbage dump prior to being dredged in the 1970s, is in good shape and as a fishery “is impressive with excellent opportunity to catch legal sized fish.”
That stated, the Owosso Parks and Recreation Commission is hopeful to expand upon this gem of a fishing opportunity through the stocking effort – allowing more people to enjoy the park. The experts at one of many approved DNR Aquaculture facilities, has shared that the plan is to introduce 800 Bluegill and 240 Largemouth Bass over a two-year period. The commission, which has been exceedingly successful with other fundraising endeavors such as the Owosso Skate Park and projects at Bentley Park, is hopeful the community will support the new effort.
Aside from the upcoming Plunge for Parks, Rivals Taphouse and Grille in Corunna, under manager Matt Pillard, is also planning a Cornhole Tournament on Wednesday, March 20. Half of the proceeds from the tournament will go to fish stocking.
Michael Espich, chairman of the parks and rec commission, shared that his “hat is off to the community” for the support with the skatepark. As for the Plunge, he encourages everyone who is able to “buy a handful of fish for the lake. Every $15 will put 10 Bluegill or Largemouth Bass into the lake.”
To make a donation, please visit http://www.ci.owosso.mi.us/ and look for the “Donate to Community Causes” button on the right of the home page. For more information, call Mike Espich, Owosso Parks and Recreation Chairman, at (989) 729-6176.