Columbia Park Fishing Pond
First, there was an idea to create a place where a family could fish and enjoy the outdoors. Ken Johanning organized and constructed, with equipment and materials donated from Poleson Construction, the improved Family Fishing Pond, which is stocked yearly with trout for youths of the Tri-Cities.
Richard Sharp, Richland Rod & Gun Club, came up with idea to create a warm-water fishery to support a year-round opportunity for species like bass, catfish and sunfish, since children don't really care what they catch as long as they catch something.
Again Ken stepped up and so did the Richland Rod & Gun Club, with help from Paul Hopharth of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, who provided the organizational manpower and a little personal expense to get the recently donated materials from Poleson and dead trees from the park placed and located in the pond to benefit the local wildlife above and below the water surface. After the trees were placed in the pond, trays with sand and gravel were placed in the pond to form spawning areas for the fish.
In June 2011, the Moonlight Catfish Derby sponsored by the Richland Rod and Gun Club was held at Columbia Point to acquire spawning-age class channel catfish to be planted at the juvenile pond in phase two of the Columbia Park pond enhancement project. A total of 98 catfish was transported to the pond by Paul Hoffarth and Tammy Gish from the Department of Fish and Wildlife who donated their time to ensure safe transport was possible.
Richland Rod & Gun Club crew and Ken Johanning
installing trees and limbs for fish habitat
WDFW and Club members collecting, tagging and
releasing catfish into the fishing pond.
May 2018- KIDS OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE: The youth fishing event at Columbia Park Pond (also known as the Family Fishing Pond) occurred on Friday evening, the 20th of April for the special needs clientele. Per Gene Van Liew, there were 155 special needs folks on Friday evening. They were able to fish from 4:00 PM until dark. On April 21st there were approximately 850 kids that showed up. We had a sufficient number of volunteers for both days.
It was estimated that there were between 6,000 and 7,000 trout released in the pond for the event. Rumor hath it that there were several hundred trout in the 5 to 6 pound range with a couple pushing the 10 to 12 pound range.
Thanks to all the sponsors, volunteers and especially to Paul Hoffarth of WDFW for their involvement and generous donation of their time. We know that approximately 1,005 fishing rods are now in the hands of some newly minted fishermen and fisherwomen. There were 261 trout that were tagged for prizes. Out of the261, 184 tagged trout were caught and prizes were awarded.