CHEYENNE - Wyoming Game and Fish has captured and moved hundreds of sport fish along with seven turtles from Sloan's Lake in Cheyenne ahead of a city plan to drain the lake this winter to fix a pump.
Workers on Thursday used nets and electro-shocking equipment to capture 428 largemouth bass, 374 yellow perch, 292 black crappies, seven trout and seven western-painted turtles from the lake in Lions Park.
"We're doing what we can to save the game fish," said Steve Gale, a biologist with Wyoming Game and Fish.
Workers also captured a 34-inch carp that weighed more than 20 pounds, recognized by one angler who said he had been trying to catch the fish all summer but had only broken equipment to show for his efforts.
"That's him!" said Bill Paxton. "That's carp-zilla! He owes me some rod and reel."
The sport fish and turtles have been moved to nearby Lake Absarraca. Crews plan to return to Sloan's Lake in October to capture more fish.
The city's Board of Public Utilities this winter plans to drain the 16-million-gallon lake that is usually 12 feet deep to repair and move a pump intake that supplies water for the park's irrigation system.
"My expectation is (the lake) will look like a frozen, icy-looking depression," said Herman Noe, engineering manager for the Board of Public Utilities.
Noe said silt has been clogging the pump. He said once the lake is dry, crews will clean out the pump and create an intake that is easier to keep clear of silt.
Noe said there are no plans to clean or vacuum the lake floor.
"If there are individual pieces of debris, we can pick it up," he said.
He said draining the lake will take about a month, and work on the pump will take about two months, depending on the weather.
Officials plan to refill the lake and restock it with fish next spring.