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Residents protest the opening of a local fish pond

With water regulations already in place in Helper City, many residents have raised the question as to whether or not the filling of the new fish pond is permissable. Although water is in short supply, the water which will fill the pond is owned by a private entity who has donated the water rights which will be used to begin and maintain the ponds water levels.

Due to the current drought situation, some Carbon County residents have expressed concern about filling the Gigliotti Pond in Helper with water this year. The governor's office, state agencies and local government officials have received calls and letters about this issue.

"Although everyone is in agreement that there is a pressing need for water conservation, there are other interests which must also be considered," explained Louis Berg, southeastern region aquatic manager for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

The Gigliotti Pond is a newly created urban fishing pond in Helper, which is being filled with water this month. What complaintants may not understand is that DWR is not the owner of the water shares, nor holder of the water rights for filling the pond.

"The water is being donated by an entity, which has the water shares and legal right to fill the pond," Berg explained. "That entity is a significant contributor to the project and wants the pond filled."

Requests that the pond not be filled are complicated by the fact that there are numerous cooperators in this fishing pond project. They include the DWR, Ross Gigliotti Enterprises LLC, Helper City, Carbon County, Price City, Active Re-Entry, the Utah B.A.S.S. Federation, Castle Country Bass Masters, Price River Water Improvement District, North Carbon Salinity Control Project, Utah Department of Transportation, and others.

Donations of public access, water, labor and materials were made with the understanding that the pond will open to fishing this year.

"Although the DWR shares everyone's concern about water conservation needs, the division believes that the public benefits of the fishing pond project will far outweigh the use of the limited amount of water it will take to fill and maintain the one acre pond," Berg concluded.

The pond will open to fishing May 25. There is no fee to fish at the pond, but a current fishing license is required for anglers age 14 and older.

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