If you travel through Wheeling you may have noticed that fencing has surrounded the largest park in town. Ever since 2012, Heritage park has been fenced off in order to renovate the park. The main objective of these renovations is to have emergency storage for excess water in case of severe flooding.
Along the border of the park and Wolf road, construction crews have dug several “detention basins”. This is just a fancy word for big holes in the ground. They are quite deep and would make for some nice fishing ponds. However, due to the nature of the basins I don’t think they would want water to always be located in them. Their purpose is to hold excess water so it wouldn’t make sense to already fill an emergency container with fluids.
If you are familiar with the creek that runs through the park you will be surprised to find that it no longer is in the same place. In order to make room for the basins, the creek was slightly moved. Hopefully there will still be some fun fishing prospects for this section of the creek. I have come here in the past and easily caught lots of small bluegill. Great way to introduce small children to fishing!
What really interested me though was Heritage lake. In the late seventies and early eighties the lake was a great place to fish according to my brother Mario. He would walk over as a child and easily catch large yellow perch and bass. There was lots of vegetation along the shoreline which provided a better habitat for the fish.
Fast forward to the late nineties/early 2000′s, and I tried, on many occasions, to catch fish out of the lake. Every single time I would cast out with a night crawler and never get a single bite. I have a feeling that the fishing quality plummeted because the park district “sanitized” the lake by removing the shrubbery along the shoreline. By removing the places where younger fish are protected, it lead to a chain of events where there might not be any fish left at all. I never got a single bite, even from a panfish.
After seeing the fencing go up around the park I wanted to know if the park district was going to try to improve the quality of fish in the lake. I called the number on the heritageparkproject.com website and left a message. Someone got back to me saying that they were not planning on stocking any fish into the lake because it is not very deep. In case anyone was wondering the same thing, now you know.
I would like to find out the depth of the lake and then see if what fish species would be able to thrive in those conditions. Eventually I wish to bring this information to the park district officials to see if I could change their minds.