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The History of Fishing in Ames Lake

Updated: Mar 19, 2023

In the early 1950s, owners of the property included in the plat of Ames Lake wanted to have the lake restocked with fish each year. They asked the Department of Game for permission to do this at their own expense. However, the department refused the necessary permit. They also stated that they wouldn’t restock the lake unless it had access to and controlled the outlet.

To meet this requirement, those who were selling the lots agreed to give the department Lot 61, a waterfront lot with the only outlet for launching boats. At the outlet was a screen to eliminate "undesirable" fish from getting into the lake and to keep "state" fish, particularly the trout, from going elsewhere.

In 1951, the state spent $5,000 developing the lot into a launch area for boats and nearby lots into parking areas. They frequently restocked the lake with fish and permitted fishermen to access the lake through that property. Beginning in 1952, these lots were available to all licensed fishermen.

From 1951 to 1962, the state frequently restocked the lake and permitted large numbers of fishermen access. In those 11 years, there were problems created by some fishermen trespassing on the property of owners adjacent to the public access and some personal property was stolen. But none of these offenses had any relationship to violation of fishing laws.

Not until 1962 did the owners of the property within the plat adopt regulations provided by the restrictions in the plat. The regulations stated that the lake should be used and developed exclusively for the private recreational use and enjoyment of those owning lots within the plat. It also stated that motorboats would not be allowed.

Today, largemouth bass, yellow perch, and rainbow trout are all caught in Ames Lake.

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