Overgrown Weeds around Pond Frustrate Fishermen

ROSS TOWNSHIP -- Harris Pond was a popular fishing area in Luzerne County but right now, overgrown weeds surround it and algae grows in the water.

Fishermen want the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to chop down the overgrown vegetation, but state officials say no.

"It's just a nice place," said Paul Nice. "You got a good variety of fish, you can have a good time."

Nice has come to Harris Pond in Sweet Valley to fish all his life. But on this bright sunny day, he left his rod at home on purpose.

"Pretty tough to fish, it's choked out with the weeds now!"

Out-of-control vegetation has grown around the pond, some of it stretching more than six feet tall, and a thick layer of algae coats much of the pond.

"As long as I've been fishing here, I've never seen it like this!" said Nice.

Neither has Darl Neely of Nanticoke. He also noticed the public pond sits right next to an office for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, who he pays for his fishing license.

"I think it's a disgrace that that fish commission is right next door. What the heck are they doing?" asked Neely.

Workers at Bait Buddies, located near the pond, have recently heard a lot of complaints from customers about the pond's conditions.

"To fish from shore, it's almost impossible, because you can't cast over it," said Bait Buddies owner Louise Besancon.

According to the Fish and Boat Commission, part of the reason the plants at Harris Pond are so high is because this summer has been very warm, fueling the plants' growth. But the state won't do anything about it.

Fish and Boat Commission officials maintain the land around the pond by cutting the grass and making sure the parking lot is clean, but they intentionally leave the pond untouched, and that allows it to develop naturally.

"You want to do anything you can to minimize any impact on the ecosystem for the aquatic life, it's important to the fish," said DEP official Colleen Connolly.

Fishermen hope the upcoming winter is cold enough to kill the vegetation and bring Harris Pond back to normal.


  • burtfan16

    Surface lures people. Jitterbugs, Creek Chubs, large poppers etc….. Preferably with a weed guard. Bass should be all over those types of lures.

      • burtfan16

        You’re a nasty little fisherman. Let me guess, you’re one of those d-bags that makes 2 or 3 casts and then goes home because you didn’t catch anything. Go back to your Koi pond man. (Koi: that’s those gold fishies that are really really big)

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