UNION, Mo.— The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) was recognized recently for its role in making possible extensive improvements to City Lake in Union. The Missouri Park and Recreation Association (MPRA) awarded MDC its 2019 Organization Citation Award February 28 during the 2019 MPRA Awards Banquet at the Hilton Branson Convention Center. The award is presented each year to an organization that has made an outstanding contribution to recreation and/or parks in Missouri.
Through a Community Assistance Program (CAP), MDC made $262,000 available for the major renovation project. “Union City Lake is one of our newest CAP partners with a recently renovated lake, improved fishing and angler access infrastructure. It’s also been added to the winter trout fishing opportunities in our region,” said Fisheries Management Biologist Jen Girondo.
The 4-acre City Lake was originally constructed in 1955. Over time its 60-plus-year-old dam developed leaks in several spots and required significant repairs. MDC and the City of Union began discussions in 2016 about how to improve the fishery in the lake after dam repairs were complete, as well as ways to facilitate better accessibility for anglers. Because of this partnership, both parties entered into a CAP agreement starting in 2017 to realize these improvements.
After repairing the leaks in the dam, the lake was dredged to deepen it and provide better fish habitat. Other renovations consisted of new sidewalks, three fishing jetties, a floating dock, and two new parking lots, which allow ADA access for anglers with disabilities. Four aerators and new sediment basin are now in place to help prevent further siltation and improve conditions for fish.
“The lake was restocked beginning in 2017 after the dredging and dam work with bluegill, largemouth bass, and channel catfish combination, and the lake was closed to fishing during that time to allow the populations to rebuild,” Girondo said.
MDC and the City of Union re-opened the lake to public use starting November 1, 2018.
“The City of Union also wanted to offer winter trout fishing opportunities to its residents and began partnering with MDC for its Winter Trout Stocking program,” said Girondo. The program provides rainbow trout fishing opportunities during the cooler months of November through February.
According to a City of Union press release, MDC was nominated by Angela Sullivan, Parks Director for the City of Union, who cited the City Lake renovations would provide local fishing opportunities to visitors of all abilities for many years to come.
“The entire community would like to thank MDC for their guidance and support throughout the project,” Sullivan said.
City Lake is located on the corner of Clark Avenue and Memorial Parkway, in Union.