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John Bilotti: Fish rearing pond was a good investment
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John Bilotti: Fish rearing pond was a good investment

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I wonder how many Kenoshans know we have a rearing pond for small or fingerling fish. Well, we do and this rearing pond was a hard-fought victory that took three attempts to become a reality on the City Council.

In 1970, I was a new alderman on Kenosha’s City Council. I ran on a platform of frugal spending. Once on the Council, I guess my philosophy was not too popular with some of my fellow aldermen.

So, when I proposed the establishment of a rearing pond on the north end of Pennoyer Park as an opportunity to greatly improve fishing in and around Lake Michigan, some aldermen saw this as an opportunity to criticize me for sponsoring a new project along with my frugal spending philosophy. In fact, one alderman said, “This project would not bring in one red cent to Kenosha.” Boy, was he wrong!

Well, this alderman had his head in the sand. I guess the short attention span of a few aldermen had no idea that this rearing pond would introduce 40,000 to 50,000 fingerlings (small fish) each year into Lake Michigan. This would greatly improve fishing in and around Kenosha’s lakefront when these fish would return to the area near and around our lakefront to spawn. This return to our lakefront would produce coho and trout the size of 20 pounds or more.

If those aldermen critical of the importance of this rearing pond’s financial improvement to Kenosha and the many fishermen who pay to one of our fishing boat captains to bring in huge catches, they would be astonished. And who knows, some of the paying customers may have been some of those negative aldermen.

If you are wondering what this rearing pond has meant to the fishing industry in Kenosha, just ask a fishing boat captain if this pond has been enormously successful in creating great fishing in and around our lakefront. I know our boat captains and those who bring in huge catches are very happy with the great fishing that we have that all began with our rearing pond.

I smile every time I pass our rearing pond. Even though I had to reintroduce this project three times before it became a reality.

John Bilotti is a past Kenosha mayor and City Council member.

John Bilotti is a past Kenosha mayor and City Council member.

John Bilotti is a past Kenosha mayor and City Council member.

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