Milt Inman and I have ventured over to Edward Medard Park in Southeastern Hillsborough County before. We were a bit surprised when we arrived there yesterday. The lake had been drained.

Photo by Tom Remington

The photo above shows last year’s trip, where water in the reservoir was plentiful and the boardwalk was active with sightseers and fishermen.

Milt Inman Photo

When we arrived yesterday, the above photo shows there is no water. The lake bed was essentially dry, with the exception of some deeper holes and channels. The lake was drained to do repairs to the dam and the levees that retain the water in the reservoir.

As we looked around at the boat launch area, we discovered one of the docks was piled with garbage. On the ground near the dock were also bags full of refuse. At the time, we assumed that as workers or perhaps Florida water authorities or maybe the Florida Fish and Wildlife people had hauled in some of this while during their work.

Milt Inman Photo

Milt Inman Photo

It wasn’t until we arrived back home and was watching the local news on television, did we discover that the garbage had been retrieved by a group of about 56 students from nearby Randall Middle School.

Among the collection, I spotted at least 3 gas-powered outboard motors and a couple electric trolling motors, what appeared to be a gas-powered generator, anchors, tires, rims, fishing rods, etc.

We ran into a few other surprised people who had arrived to do some fishing. Medard Lake is one of the better bass fishing spots in Central Florida and many are anxious to get it filled back up and restore the fishery. I wonder if they will keep the alligators out?

I snickered but kept my opinions to myself as I spoke with one man who was initially quite alarmed as he assumed the lake had gone dry because of global warming. I assured him it had been deliberately drained by man and when repairs were complete, they would allow the reservoir to be refilled.

A hat tip and a pat on the back go to the young people of Randall Middle School for taking a few hours out of their holiday away from school, to give something back to their community.

Tom Remington