From the Archives, October 28, 2018

Akers Lake Fish

We thought we’d go for something light-hearted this week. Back in 2001, Kerry Parker was trying securing an interview with the first ranger Coleman Wright. He was never able to get Wright to commit to a recording, but some phone conversations led to a couple of interesting stories, which Parker did record for posterity. This week, an interesting story about Akers Lake… and fish. Story by Kerry Parker, September 2, 2001. Edited for clarity.

Round about the time camp opened, when the Wrights first came to camp or some time at least in the early 60s, [Old Hickory Lake] had backed into Akers Lake. And somebody came up with the idea that they were going to stock Akers Lake with a particular kind of fish. I think bass and catfish is what the plan was. And, so they went down and took a chemical which removes oxygen from the water. Now he told me what that chemical was, but unfortunately I can’t remember the name [of] it.

And they went down, and if I understood it right, there was drums of this chemical. Of course Akers Lake is a big lake. And so they dumped this chemical into the water. Tom Parker was involved with this scheme to cleanse the lake of all the fish that were in it presently. And so they dump this chemical into the water, thinking that they would go down and pick these fish up. When they suffocated they’ll float to the top of the water of course.

Well, this got to be quite a debacle. They dumped the chemical into the lake. Fish started to die and come to the top. More and more and more of the fish died and came to the top. The last one to come up if I understood it right was a catfish…

And then he said it got so bad you could smell it all the way out to Highway 109. But of course as time went on, they deteriorated and the smell went away. I’m not sure exactly how long it took to do that. And, but he said there was dump truck loads of fish. I’m not sure how many of them they got out and tried to dispose of, but there was way more than they could handle.

And then they restocked the lake. And they restocked that lake with bass and catfish. And, so that’s an interesting little story.

Akers Lake

Akers Lake from Percy Dempsey Camporee Area, December 2015

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