Although the draining of Ohio State’s Mirror Lake has been a long time coming, according to the university, the lake’s wildlife did not get an eviction notice.
Ducks were still hanging around the lake on Wednesday afternoon. Scores of fish, however, had less options for mobility, as they were trapped in shallow puddles left from the draining.
The draining of Mirror Lake is the first step in renovations of the campus landmark and surrounding area. Those renovations come with intentions to increase the lake’s sustainability and restore the lake to an image closer to its historical origin.
As a consequence, though, the renovations will also effectively put an end to the Mirror Lake jump, a tradition that has arisen in recent years, taking place in the lead-up to the OSU-Michigan football game. The altered lake will extend farther east toward the South Oval and will have an eight-to-ten-foot shallow wetland around its edges.
“There won’t be anything to jump into,” Keith Myers, associate vice president of planning and real estate in OSU’s Office of Administration and Planning, told The Lantern in a previous story. “The lake is going to be inches deep at the edges, and it’s going to be full of wetland marsh.”
Austin Singletary, a third-year in human nutrition, died from injuries sustained while jumping in the lake during last year’s jump.
The news release announcing the renovations was updated Wednesday with information regarding what would become of the wildlife at the lake while construction is underway.
“The ducks at Mirror Lake are expected to relocate on their own when the lake undergoes renovation,” the release reads. “Any ducks that do not relocate will be moved to an appropriate environment for their own well-being.”
This is not the first time the lake has been drained and OSU has had to work with a wildlife management firm to ensure the ducks relocation, said university spokesman Ben Johnson.
And the ducks will take care of the fish.
“The expectation is that the ducks will eat the fish,” Johnson said, adding that it would be business as usual for the fowl. “That process will continue.”