Dover’s Tidbury pond receives fresh stock of trout

 

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Onlookers photograph the first batch of trout to be dumped into the pond Thursday at Tidbury Park by volunteer Michael Todd of Wyoming. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

DOVER — Rodney Roberts and two of his fishing buddies stood next to Tidbury Pond on Thursday, taking photos and pointing to shoreline spots.

The Philadelphians planned strategy for Saturday morning’s downstate opening of trout season, and seemingly got the jump on everyone else.

Mr. Roberts programmed his GPS earlier in the day to find Tidbury Pond next to South State Street, and arrived to see Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife staff drop a few hundred pounds of rainbow trout into the water.

The visitors answered “No, no, no” in unison when asked if their lines would be in the water before 7 a.m. Saturday when the season opens.

“You’ll get a ticket for that,” Mr. Roberts said.

Well before dawn on Saturday, however, the trio plans to be on the Tidbury shore awaiting the highly anticipated moment of first cast.

“We’ve got a couple good spots figured out,” Mr. Roberts said.

The lure of trout is that “they’re very good freshwater fighters on light tackle,” Mr. Roberts said.

And as for coming so far south for the experience, Mr. Roberts described Tidbury as “clean and comfortable, and the people are courteous. We would like to have something like this in Philadelphia.”

Fisheries biologist Mark Zimmerman and retiree Michael Todd dropped net after net of flopping fish into Tidbury for about 20 minutes just after noon, and another deposit was planned for Newton Pond near Greenwood shortly after that.

“I just love doing this,” said Mr. Todd, who estimated that he’d been part of the drop for 10 years now.

Roughly 625 pounds of trout were delivered via a Richland, Pa.-based Limestone Springs Preserve truck, funded by state trout stamp sales and federal sportfishing program aid. The ponds will be restocked in two weeks, and no trout are expected to remain by mid-April.

“We’ve never had a report of a dead fish before the hot water comes,” said Mr. Zimmerman, noting that largemouth bass and sunfish will transition into the catch of the day as the weather warms.

Standing atop the Limestone Springs Preserve Vehicle while passing nets of trout toward the water, Jacqui Haag said, “We have hundreds of thousands (of fish) so I can’t get attached to them. We have a lot of them.”

Private pond owner Kyle McCabe purchased some of the trout for his Bethany Beach area fishing spot and said, “This is the start of our fishing season. We’ll move into flounder and rockfish soon, but we’re here for trout today …”

Upon first spotting the flopping trout, Mr. McCabe’s son exclaimed “Oh my God … Dad, I don’t want to eat them.”

The high density of trout now within the Tidbury water area of less than five acres, owned by Kent County Levy Court, makes an ideal setting for anglers, Mr. Zimmerman said.

“It’s a small pond with great shoreline access that allows the fish opportunity to see all the baits are in the water,” he said. “The fishermen can cover the bottom quite well.”

On Saturday morning, Mr. Zimmerman said he expects “lots of excitement with people bringing in their equipment, they will be gearing up and rigging. … (the trout are of) spectacular coloration and pattern, and this all adds to the excitement of course.”

For more information, call 1-800-523-3336.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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