For nearly two decades I have called Union, MO., my home. Both of the houses that I have lived in have been less than a mile from Union City Lake on the west side of town.
This lake holds many memories for me. I’ve been able to walk there with my daughter to enjoy fireworks displays, feeding the geese, and cast a fishing line.
The 4-acre lake was first built in 1955. Fast forward to 2016. The lake’s dam was leaking and the water had become murky and overrun with algae and moss.
There were haphazard beaten pathways created by anglers over the years. The fishing certainly wasn’t up to par. It wasn’t a point of pride for my community.
Thankfully, the City of Union and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) teamed up to do a major overhaul.
What has been dubbed the “Lake Project” in my neck of the woods has been pretty amazing to witness firsthand.
As the city removed silt from the lake basin, they worked to create a relationship with the MDC to bring new life to our City Lake. It was in January 2017 that a partnership was created.
Thanks to MDC’s Community Assistance Program, an agreement to renovate the lake came about.
One of the first issues tackled was accessibility to the lake. Now that the project is complete, visitors can enjoy a new sidewalk around the lake. There are also three accessibility jetties, a new dock, and two new parking lots.
I still am impressed with the improved fishing opportunities. While the physical improvements were complete in 2017, it wasn’t until March 2018 that the lake was restocked with fish.
They kept the lake closed to fishing until recently because officials wanted to allow the new fish time to adapt to their new environment and grow.
On the first day of winter trout season, the lake opened to anglers with a great surprise; the MDC added 2,000 rainbow trout to the City Lake.
I know that anytime I go by the city lake I now see people fishing, walking, and enjoying the park itself. It’s become a place to be proud of and will serve our community and state for years to come.
For anglers wishing to visit the Union City Lake, remember that you must comply with MDC rules and posted guidelines, such as Nov. 1 to Jan. 31 one pole per person can be used.
Anglers are only allowed artificial flies and lures with no natural or prepared baits. From Feb. 1 to Oct. 31, a maximum of three poles per person may be used with no restrictions on bait.
The lake only allows pole and line fishing. No live bait may be taken.
For more information, call the park office at (636) 583-8471.
The Union City Lake is located between Clark-Vitt Memorial Park/Autumn Hill and the Union Fairgrounds on the west side of Union, directly across from Clark-Vitt Elementary School.
(Michelle Turner lives in Union, Mo.)
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