Woodward, Okla. —
Woodward residents could potentially see 2 new improvements at Crystal Beach Park soon.
Members of the Woodward Parks and Beautification Board discussed 2 small, but significant improvement projects for the park during their regular meeting earlier this week.
The first is a proposed project to create a handicap accessible fishing pier at Crystal Beach Lake and the second is to relocate and redesign the park's miniature golf course.
A NEW BRIDGE/PIER
Mike Lowden, the city's director of facilities, said the plan for the new accessible fishing pier would involve replacing the old metal walking bridge on the west side of the lake.
In its place, Lowden said the city is proposing a new, wider flat bridge would be built. At a proposed 12-feet to 14-feet across, he said the new bridge would be wide enough to provide room for persons to stop and fish from the bridge while leaving enough room for others to still cross the bridge.
But the project wouldn't just stop at replacing the bridge, Lowden said. In order to help increase the fishing experience of those using that new bridge/pier, he said a "controlled fishing environment" would be created using a submerged net-like barrier below the bridge.
Lowden said that by fencing off the cove, which lays to the west of the bridge, it would help guarantee that those who go to fish in that area will get a bite.
"Our goal is to keep the cove stocked year round," he said, noting that together with the barrier, it would help ensure "anybody can come out at any time and catch a fish and not go home empty-handed."
Parks Board member Ronnie Brittain said he was excited about this development. Especially since he has held fishing seminars for children using the cove before and likes to take his own grandchildren fishing whenever he can.
"There's nothing like taking kids fishing and them not being able to catch anything," Brittain said.
"This will take care of that," Lowden promised.
However, the facilities said he still needs to speak with a biologist about a variety of factors before the city can actually create this controlled fishing environment.
For example, he said the biologist will need to look at how wide to make the holes in the barrier in order to allow bait fish to swim freely between the cove and larger lake as a whole, while still keeping larger fish separated.
In addition, Lowden said the biologist would have to take a close look at the different underwater environments offered in the cove area to determine "how many fish and what kind" would be placed in the controlled area. "We have to keep a balance," he said.
Besides speaking with a biologist, Lowden said he also needs to meet with an engineer to discuss whether the current support structure is sufficient to ensure the new bridge would be structurally sound.
While excited about the opportunities that the proposed new bridge/pier would provide, some of the Parks Board members were concerned about what replacing the old metal bridge would mean for the historic rock piers that stand on both sides and both ends of the bridge.
"We would look at relocating those at the entrances of the bridge, so that we would keep that integrity," City Manager Alan Riffel said.