Four years ago Steve Cusson, owner/operator of Phobia Auto Care came up with a unique plan to help provide a family friendly activity within the community. In doing so, Cusson created something in Martensville that many people have come to appreciate – a pond stocked with fish in Kinsmen Park that provides both a summer and winter activity.
“I felt like this would be a cool family activity to have in Martensville and it was something different than most towns had to offer,” said Cusson.
In 2020, Cusson decided not to stock the pond due to a drop in sales because of COVID-19; however, this year, he was looking forward to re-stocking the pond. Before doing so though, some research was required.
“Each year, we were seeing a lot of winter kill. In winter, there is a drop in water levels and decaying plants suck the oxygen out of the water, which was causing a lower survival rate for the fish. I started looking into aerator options that would help put oxygen into the water and keep the fish happy, healthy and alive,” Cusson explained. Following his research, Cusson submitted his findings to the City of Martensville where it then required approval from City Council.
Information was provided to Council, discussed at the May 11 Committee of the Whole meeting, and approved at the May 18 meeting. Following this approval, Cusson confirmed that he would be taking the next step which includes re-stocking the pond with 500 fish.
The windmill style aerator will be installed closer to fall in preparation for winter temperatures, which is where it will be most beneficial. This style of aerator has no electrical requirements and will pump oxygen into the water as it spins.
Although the fish will be added to the pond this year, Cusson noted that when re-stocking the fish, he is always planning a year in advance. “For these fish, it will be fall before they are a fishable size, but really, it is over winter when they aren’t moving a lot and eating quite a bit that they really grow. By spring they will be really big. We are always planning ahead with this project and preparing for the upcoming year.”
One concern that was made regarding the addition of the aerator into the pond was that the ice thickness in the area where the bubbles come to the surface will be affected. Ted Schaeffer provided information to Council regarding this and stated in his report that ice thickness returns to normal a metre or two away from the diffuser. To help ensure public safety, the affected area could be fenced off and the ice thickness monitored on a regular basis.