Lake Griffy Dog Poop Park Closed: Score One For Fishing and Fishermen

Inside Outdoors
By Don Jordan

June 2, 2008

According to my sources within the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Dept., the so-called "dog park" at Lake Griffy will be closed as is not part of future plans for at least the next 10 years.

Inside Outdoors began reporting on the dog walking issue last winter when the parks department opened its planning process for public comment. As a fisherman and an outdoor writer, my interest at Griffy has always been for the fish and wildlife there and for recreational angling.

We managed to get the Indiana DNR to kill off Griffy's crop of Brazilian Elodea after city managers stalled taking effective action for three years. The DNR finally stepped in and applied herbicide to the lake. That opened the north side reservoir to some of the best fishing anyone has experienced at Griffy since the impoundment was drawn down and "rehabilitated" nearly 20 years ago.

Our other complaint was and is that recreational boaters and anglers who launch their own boats at Griffy are paying all the bills there. The price got steeper for anglers this year with the daily launch fee going to $5 or $50 for the season. Boat rental fees at the park dept. concession also increased.

Even though the city's own surveys show that hikers and dog walkers/poopers are far and away the biggest users at Griffy. They hike the trails around the lake while the dog walkers turn their dogs loose and let them run and defecate. I have never seen one of this dog poopers carrying a bag and a scoop to pick up their pets' excrement.

All this fecal matter does wash right into Griffy where it joins nutrient rich runoff from septic tanks, suburban yards and the IU Golf Course. There is so much fecal nutrient flowing into Griffy that the elodea infestation may have kept the lake from developing that nasty blue green algae that appeared last summer.

With big plans for Griffy coming to the drawing board soon, it would be smart for all you anglers out there interested Griffy to get your two cents worth in with the park dept. before any plans are final.

Tell the city that this jewel of a resource is not the place for unrestrained dog pooping, and that it isn't fair that only boaters pay user fees at Griffy. Why not make the hikers and dog walking/pooping crowd pay the same kind of user fee? They do this in Indy at Eagle Creek Park, and similar charges at Griffy would go a long way toward making the verable reservoir self-sufficient.

You can call the park department at 812.349.3736 to make your wishes known and to find out how to make your comment part of the official record of the planning process.

And, you can make any comment you want about the dog poop issue at Griffy on the "Outdoors Today" forum.

©Copyright 2008. Donald Lee Jordan

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