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Delaware's Small Ponds

 

Eric Cottman, F&W technician, shows off a couple of large crappie panfish caught electrofishing on one of Delaware's small pondsIn addition to the 37 state-owned ponds listed in the Delaware Fishing Guide, the Division of Fish & Wildlife manages an additional nine small ponds, most of them geared toward bank fishing. The ponds range in size from approximately one-half to 10 acres. Largemouth bass and bluegill are the predominant fish that anglers will catch, although crappie, catfish and chain pickerel are species that also can be caught in some of the small ponds.

One of the small ponds, Newton Pond near Greenwood, is the only small pond where anglers have the opportunity to fish for freshwater trout. (Click here for directions to the pond). Newton Pond is also the only small pond where anglers will find a launch ramp for car-top boats or canoes; no gas motors are allowed. An aluminum T-shaped fishing pier was constructed on the north end of the pond that provides wheelchair access.

A second small pond that provides handicapped access is located across from the Aquatic Resource Education Center in Smyrna. At this location there is an aluminum T-shaped floating fishing pier with hand rail. The remainder of the small ponds overseen by Fish & Wildlife are accessible with a moderate walk. All are posted as "Catch and Release" except for the trout at Newton Pond. Barbless hooks are required at all of the ponds.

Artificial fish structures are used to enhance fish habitat in the small ponds. A variety of materials from wood pallets to PVC has been utilized but recycled Christmas trees make up the majority of the structures.

Artificial habitat serves as fish attractors and provides cover throughout the year. If you haven’t had the opportunity to fish sunken trees, a carefully placed lure may catch a lunker bass – or to catch one of the crappies pictured alongside that were collected by fisheries technician Eric Cottman while electrofishing.

Specific information about each pond can be found in the Delaware Small Ponds Fishing brochure. It contains a map that provides detailed directions, a description of each pond, and the types of fish that anglers can expect to catch. A printed copy of the brochure may also be obtained by calling 302-735-8661.

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