BLACKFOOT — Water will begin filling the lake at Jensen Grove this weekend and city officials are hoping improvements at the park will attract more people to the area.
Blackfoot Mayor Mike Virtue said they have waited to fill the lake until additional dock anchors were installed and a retaining wall to secure the shoreline near the amphitheater was complete. The new docks, to be located between the boat ramp and the amphitheater, will be installed this week. The retaining wall was finished in March.
Virtue said water will start flowing into the lake as early as Friday. It generally takes a few weeks to completely fill the lake, but Virtue said because water levels are high right now, it may fill more quickly.
Several improvements have been made to the park. Last year the amphitheater roof was replaced with a new metal roof, the pedestrian bridge at the north end of the lake has been reinforced and additional picnic tables will be placed along the beach. There is also a new shaded shelter near the beach.
Most of the improvements have been paid for with money from the Blackfoot Urban Renewal Agency.
"We're hoping it brings in more people," Virtue said.
Additionally, once the lake is full, Idaho Fish and Game will stock the lake again with fish, providing another recreational opportunity at the park. Last year was the first year the lake was stocked with rainbow trout.
Fish and Game works to provide opportunities for fishing close to home to encourage families to fish together. Providing that opportunity at Jensen Grove encourages new anglers, and will likely attract families seeking to recreate without spending much money.
Those wishing to fish on the lake must have a fishing license. Standard fishing rules apply. The lake will be open to fishing year-round as long as there is water.