LAYTON -- Boatloads of fishermen arrived Saturday morning, fishing poles in hand, to celebrate the grand opening of the Andy Adams Community Fishery.
The 50-acre reservoir at 1800 E. Gordon Ave. was built in 1914 by David O. Green as a means to capture and store irrigation water for farmers. The reservoir has not been available for public use until now.
Layton resident Sara Beckstead brought her three young children to the event to experience their first fishing trip.
"We came because I wanted to try to catch a fish," said 7-year-old Nathan Beckstead.
It wasn't long before he was successful and caught his first fish, one of the 14,000 stocked by the Utah Division of Wildlife Services.
"The fish and game put trout, perch and bass in here. They'll do it once a year. ... Right now some are about 12 inches long," said Scott Green, president of the Kays Creek Irrigation company, which owns the reservoir that is still used for irrigation of farm fields and residential yards.
According to the fishery's regulations, anglers are allowed to keep two fish per day.
Nestled between residential neighborhoods, with a view of both the mountains above and the valley below, the reservoir provides a peaceful outdoor escape from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city.
"We're just so thrilled to have this in our neighborhood. We don't get to up to lakes that often, but it's great to have this so close by," said Sara Beckstead.
The fishery is a cooperative effort between Kays Creek Irrigation Company, Layton city, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and the Haven J. Barlow family.
Green said the city loaned the irrigation company $32,000 to make the improvements to the reservoir, including a parking area, restrooms, fencing and an access road through an easement on the Barlow's private property.
Kays Creek Irrigation will repay the city over six years.
"The city is involved so that we can help manage it. Our police force can be up here enforcing the rules, so we can help manage and maintain it," said Brock Hill, Layton parks superintendent. "We'll be a partner in this for a long time."
Many families came to experience the new fishery. Parents and grandparents alike were teaching their children the basics and intricacies of successful fishermen.
"I, personally, am excited about it because it will bring memories to kids," said Mayor Steve Curtis as he reminisced about fishing during his childhood years.
"I look and see the number of people that have come (to the fishery) and what a joy it is. For it to happen with four separate entities coming together to see something very positive evolve is just amazing."
The reservoir is open 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset every day during the spring, summer and fall. It will be closed in the winter.