By Terry Schrimscher, For the Tribune
CLAY – The Clay City Council met for the second regular meeting of the month on Tuesday night, May 23. There was no new business on the regular agenda but City Manager Ronnie Dixon introduced two important items during his report to the Council.
Dixon made recommendations to the Council for new fishing rules after conducting an inventory of the lake last week.
“Starting June 5, we allow fishing — and keeping the fish — for bass under 14 inches, all catfish and all crappie,” Dixon said. “Catch and release will stay in effect for all bream, all bass over 14 inches, and all carp. I think you all know we pay a lot of money for those carp.”
In 2020, the city began work on improving the lake and completed dredging and upgrades to the property in early 2021. The city also stocked the lake with more fish before reopening the park to the public.
“The report on the lake was outstanding,” Dixon said. “From the pH acidity and all of that, the dredging has made it into a completely different lake.”
Dixon added the water tested very clean, but said the lake is still full of leeches. He said the hope is that the additional depth of the lake will kill off most of the leeches over time.
“The bass population has gone from a 72% weight that we were last year to 94%,” Dixon said. “Putting in all the shad and putting in all the bream made a big difference. That’s why we don’t need them to take the bream. That is the feeder food for the big fish.”
Dixon said the inventory of the lake revealed hundreds of bass between the four- and six-pound range, and the largest one they measured was more than six pounds. He said catfish were ranging from yearling to as much as 15 pounds.
The fine for illegal fishing in Cosby Lake can reach $1,000 for violations of the regulations. Dixon asked for a motion to post new signage with the new regulations and said the city will be more strict on enforcing the rules for the lake.
“In order to keep the population growing like it is and to keep the water quality the way it is, we need to do just one thing,” Dixon added. “We’re going to put 22,000 pounds of crawfish in the lake. These are creek bred crawfish for bait. We don’t want anybody putting baskets out there for boiling.”
The Council approved posting the new regulations on signs around the lake.
In other business, the Council approved issuing a letter to the occupants of a rental home at 7511 Weems Road, which is in violation of zoning ordinances. Farm animals are being kept on the residential property against city codes. The residents will be given 10 days to remove the farm animals from the residential property.
The next meeting of the Clay City Council is scheduled for 6 p.m. on June 13, at City Hall.