DAN LOYNES is seen jumping into Hopkins Lake in Owosso last March during the 2018 Owosso Plunge for Parks.
The annual event is spearheaded by the Owosso Parks and Recreation Commission. This year, the commission has decided to restock Hopkins Lake with fish as the focus for fundraising. The event is planned for Saturday, March 23 at 2 p.m.
What most residents may not realize about the city-owned Hopkins Lake property is that as a fishing source, Hopkins Lake actually tops seven other nearby comparable lakes. In fact, a considerable amount of data on Hopkins Lake has been made available through a DNR study done in May of 2018.
So, for every $15 pledged, 10 fish (Bluegill and Largemouth Bass) will be introduced into Hopkins Lake.
(Independent File Photo/Graham Sturgeon)
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.