Another Perspective

Pulling the Plug

Preparations are under way to drain Sloan's Lake.

By 9.29.09

I see by the papers they are going to drain Sloan's Lake. You don't know Sloan's Lake? Not many do. It's in Cheyenne, Wyoming, not far from the airport in a place called Lion's Park. Sloan's is, or used to be, chock-full of rough fish. Ideal for a boy with a can of worms and an uncle who would take him there.

Sloan's, we are told, holds 16 million gallons of water, about 12 feet deep, and pure, or sort of.

Trouble is, there is a pump intake that feeds water to the park's irrigation system and over the years it has started silting up. Why not simply dive down and fix the area? No fun. Cheyenne's Board of Public Utilities wants to drain all 16 million gallons and repair and move the pump. More fun that way. And more work as a consequence for the state Fish and Game folks. They must preserve as many of the submersible inhabitants as possible. So far their nets and electro-shockers have captured 428 largemouth bass, 374 yellow perch, 292 black crappies, seven painted turtles, and seven trout. How the trout got there is not explained. Oh, and one more: a 34-inch carp that weighed more than 20 pounds. So, that's where all those worms went.

All of these denizens of Sloan's are to be moved to a nearby lake and fish and game plans to return to Sloan's in October to capture more. The idea will be to restock the lake next spring. The manager of the Public Utilities board says there are no plans to clean the lakebed floor, save for individual pieces of debris. These may include some of my Uncle's tackle, a hook or two of mine, and perhaps some of a friend's, a young lad stricken with bone cancer with whom I fished a couple of times, being carefully forewarned not to mention the shadow that overhung it all.

One wonders, what happened to the couple of cars that broke through the ice during winter racing events and, along with several iceboats, sliced into those twelve feet of water. Or whatever else aside from memories may be found at the bottom of Sloan's Lake.

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About the Author

Reid Collins is a former CBS and CNN news correspondent.