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Medard Reservoir to close for repairs this fall

DURANT — Popular local fishing spot Medard Reservoir will close this fall for repairs to its berm, water district officials said.

The $2.8 million in repairs will help prevent erosion to the structure, which was built in 1970. The Southwest Florida Water Management District anticipated these repairs and started planning in 2003, spokeswoman Robyn Felix said.

It already has the necessary permits and funding, she said.

Fishermen show up every day at the reservoir, which is known for its abundant freshwater fish including bass, tilapia, bluegill and catfish.

The district will start lowering the water level in October, when the dry season starts. Once it is too shallow for boats — probably in late November — the county will not allow watercraft on the water, Felix said.

In January, contractors will fortify the berm either with concrete mats or a fabric liner that's covered with rocks, said Jeff Hagberg, the district's field operations manager.

Edward Medard Park is part of a reclaimed phosphate mine. The district built the reservoir for flood control and recreation. When they drain the reservoir, its water flows into the Little Alafia River.

Felix said the district doesn't anticipate any problems with flooding when they lower the water level this fall because they expect to finish construction before the rainy season begins.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@sptimes.com or (813) 661-2443.

Medard Reservoir to close for repairs this fall 07/30/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 30, 2009 5:30am]

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