Ice fishing will be allowed on ponds in Spencer this winter, including at Stolley’s.
The Spencer City Council approved that and other rule changes at its July 15 meeting as it reviewed revisions to park system rules proposed by the park board.
The changes address many new rules and some updates for city parks, including the new DeWolf Dog Park, the East Leach Park campground and the Spencer Aquatic Center.
Parks Director Delray Bredehoeft many of the rules still will remain as they have for years, though.
“Most of these rules have been in place for many years,” Bredehoeft said.
But the pond rules were perhaps the biggest changes, Bredehoeft said.
He added that Spencer Municipal Utilities, which owns Stolley Park , is OK with allowing ice fishing, as are others.
“The Clay County Conservation Board and Iowa DNR were supportive because they would like to have clinics and that type of thing out there,” Bredehoeft said.
Ice fishing houses and shelters won’t be allowed on city park ponds, though.
There are no set dates for ice fishing in the new rules, either. Fishing will be allowed as long as ice conditions permit.
In addition to ice fishing, kayaks will now be allowed on park ponds. Previously, only canoes were allowed.
Other changes made to park rules include setting an opening time for city parks as a half hour before sunrise and providing language that makes it clear that alcohol is allowed in the parks.
“If you have kegs, you have to have a keg permit,” Bredehoeft said.
Ward 2 City Councilman Bill Orrison was the only council member to bring up an issue with the rules.
Orrison asked why dog leashes were restricted to a maximum length of six feet. He said many people have leashes that exceed that length and believed six feet was too short of a maximum.
“I’d say it’s more for the safety of the other people who are walking up and down the trail,” Bredehoeft said. “But it’s something that certainly could be looked at.”
Mayor Kevin Robinson recommended the issue be addressed this fall when the park master plan is reviewed.
The council approved the rules with a 6-0 vote. At Large City Councilman Rich Prentice was absent.