One of Ishpeming’s natural features used to be much more vibrant than it is now.
Several city residents are trying to revive it.
At one time, Lake Bancroft could be fished for trout and walleye.
But the only stream leading into the lake was blocked off in the 1930s and the fishing deteriorated after that.
Jim Bertucci says when he was a kid, he used to trap minnows in the lake, but he says you can’t even do that anymore.
Organic sediment has been building up in the water ever since.
Unless something is done, the lake will fill in and eventually become a swamp.
Dredging would be too costly, but a food–grade chemical treatment may be able to help.
Carr Baldwin says a recently-invented polymer would push the sediment suspended in the water down to the bottom of the lake instead.
Several residents have formed the Lake Bancroft Committee to address the issue.
Carr Baldwin is a civil engineer, and he has studies on the sediment dating back decades.
Baldwin says the city hired his firm back in the late 1970s to do research on the lake so that it could apply for a DNR grant.
The city didn’t get the grant, but he still has the data from back then.
If Lake Bancroft is rejuvenated, a beautification project the city installed would once again do what it was intended to do.
Jim Bertucci was the city’s Public Works director for years.
He says fountains were installed in the lake years ago, but they don’t work because of overgrown vegetation.
The west end of the lake would even be re–stocked with fish, but the city has no money to spend on the project.
The committee is trying to make the city aware of the issue and raise the tens of thousands of dollars that the chemical treatment would cost.
If you want to know more about the Lake Bancroft Commitee, its next meeting is Tuesday, December 20th at 5 pm.
The group meets at the Engineering Consultants building on South Pine street in Ishpeming.