Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network (WIN) has received a $45,000 grant from the Fund for Lake Michigan to help the Kenosha Sport Fishing and Conservation Association (KSFCA) and the City of Kenosha improve the natural area around the salmon and trout rearing pond near the mouth of the Pike River.
The Rearing Pond and surrounding park land are located east of Seventh Avenue along the Pike River before it exits into Lake Michigan. The Rearing Pond raises and imprints juvenile trout and salmon so that mature fish then return to the Pike River to spawn. Fishing for trout and salmon creates recreation and revenue for the City of Kenosha and provides an important connection to the Pike River – a Lake Michigan watershed.
Root-Pike WIN and the KSFCA have set out to fortify the rapidly eroding stream bank along the Pike River, create a small outdoor education “patio,” convert unused turf areas and remove invasive species to erosion-reducing native plants, and install swales to lessen the stormwater impacts to the pond, as well as provide better fishing opportunities, and canoe/kayak access.
Built in the late 1960s to raise salmon to control the over-population of alewife and other small bait fish, the pond is currently threatened by environmental impacts on all sides. The first phase of the project will address these issues with resilient solutions that also enhance the space’s recreational opportunities. Strand & Associates will lead the design and engineering process that should take about a year to complete.
When complete, the near the Pike River mouth will have a fortified stream bank that stops the erosion threatening the rearing ponds stability, a replanted native buffer that stabilizes the bank and provides a habitat for threatened pollinators, and a storm water management feature to mitigate runoff pollutants before they enter the river.
The Rearing Pond is also being redesigned so that salmon and trout fingerlings have a more protective shelter, and a durable and more attractive enclosure. Kenosha’s Partners in Design Architects have already begun volunteering design time to create the new Rearing Pond enclosure concept.