Mandan News

Vern Davis: Springtime continues to get closer

Hello from Morton County Parks.

Think about this – the OFFICIAL first day of spring is only about three weeks away and yet as I write this it seems like it will be several months away with the temperatures as low as they have been and the snow that keeps showing up every week. Quite frankly, I along with a lot of other people am about fed up with winter. Oh well – be happy that we live in the great state of North Dakota – from what I read and see on the telly, it is a lot tougher in the other states where people aren’t used to the extremes that we take for granted.

Every day I come to the office I look at the sign my sister gave me on my real birthday a few years ago. It reads as follows: North Dakota – clear blue skies – four beautiful seasons – good friendly folks – God knew what he was doing.

Now, for spring starters – we will have the boat ramps on the Missouri River cleared and cleaned as early as possible. We will not endanger an operator or a piece of equipment if it isn’t a situation of complete safety.

There are a couple fishermen out there who like to be the first to call my office and complain that we aren’t ready and the real fact is – there are still large ice chucks coming downstream!

It may take a week or longer to get the fish cleaning stations up and running this spring because we are going to redo the tops with new surfaces and probably put in a single faucet instead of the regular two. At this point, I do not know how this project will shake out.

It is my hope and a lot of other people that the rock pile at Graner Park gets used this spring. The work would have to be done by the start of spawning, which is about April 15. Everything depends upon how much water is coming down the Missouri, and right now it looks like it will be quite a bit, so my guess will be that the new boat ramp will not be built until late summer.

Finally, there is quite a bit of snow out in the parks and I would like to ask a big favor. Please don’t drive in the parks during the “muddy season.” This just adds to the expense of maintaining the roads later on with blading and graveling of the parks. This gets expensive in a big hurry, and yes, Morton County Parks is on a limited budget.

That’s about all for this month – stay warm, and we will be here next month.