Local ponds at extremely low levels

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BOISE — You may have noticed many ponds throughout Boise are at low levels right now.

The City of Boise Parks and Recreation says this is normal and happens every year.

They say the water level naturally drops during the winter months and they choose not to pump in well water. They say having the ponds low can actually help the environment.

Ponds in Ann Morrison, Kathryn Albertson, and Julia Davis all have little water left.

“The drains don’t carry much water because there is not much irrigation going on and irrigation ditches haven’t started diversions from rivers yet, so those ponds naturally go down,” said Tom Governale with Parks and Recreation.

Governale explained that as the water levels drop in the winter, they choose not to pump in extra well water since ice can be dangerous to the public and lower levels can kill off unwanted plants.

“Sometimes we actually like them to go down in case we get undesirable plant material in the ponds, if we get a cold winter we can actually freeze out those undesirable plants,” said Governale.

As for the fish, Governale says they are unstocked ponds with less than a dozen non-game fish, and he says most can survive in the little water that’s left.

“Some of the ponds that carry non-game fish, there is usually enough water in there to sustain them through the winter time, there is always a pool left in the deepest part of the pond,” said Governale.

Governale says the ponds have been like this for a couple months, but will return to normal by the middle of April as the irrigation water starts again and runoff from the Bose River fills up what’s been naturally emptied.

“People will start to see them on the rise in another week or two as irrigation water starts getting diverted in the irrigation ditches, as people start irrigating their lawn and there is more run off in the drain ditches,” said Governale.

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