Mike Rankin releases young grass carp to Gardner Lake with the help of Ryan Mueller. Curious onlookers include Audry Larson, River Hind and Juneau Hind Photo courtesy of Amy Heaven

Amy Heaven
On May 6, the Gardner Lake Association added another 500 hungry grass carp to the lake’s population in a continuing effort to manage the water weed crisis. According to Lucas Kowalewski, from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Gardner Lake should have a total of 1000 of the sterile carp to manage the quality of the water in the shallow portions of the lake, which have been impacted the most by the growth. 500 had previously been delivered to the site on May 29 of last year and proved to be quite effective. The 8″ fish will consume three times their weight in weeds a day. They can live up to 40 years and grow four to six feet in length. Since they are vegetarians, they will not strike on bait or lures.
The majority of the cost of the carp campaign was paid by generous donations from lake residents with the shortfall of the $5,000 expenditure being covered by the Gardner Lake Association treasury. Leslie Hind, association treasurer, organized the successful and popular campaign.
In other news on the lake, the Gardner Lake Association has sponsored another major clean up event at the dam on April 16th. A crew of lake enthusiasts traversed the dam with a tractor, saws and chains to remove the small trees that threaten the structure. The City of Gardner generously disposed of the brush. A special thank you is due Dave Young, Todd Chappell, John Modic, Pete Adams, Blair Honeyman and Travis Fleming.
On April 23rd, Gardner Disposal generously donated a dumpster for a private clean up party that sent lake residents combing the roads with trash bags. Boat owners also traversed the shoreline collecting improperly disposed trash. High winds discouraged the larger turn out of boats from previous years. Thank you to Mary and Scott Burnett for effort and expense in sponsoring the popular Saturday morning event.
The Gardner Lake Association was incorporated in 1960 and continues to be the primary advocate for the lake and its residents.