WAYNE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The future of a fishing area designated for kids 12 and under and those with disabilities is up in the air. Wayne Township officials in Clinton County fear that their manmade pond may have to be removed.
Kids 12 and under and people with disabilities have been fishing in Wayne Township's nature park for the past two years. Wade Swinehart of McElhattan comes here often.
"This helps with PTSD in ways. I sit here and get a calming effect by watching these fish," Swinehart said.
Swinehart is a disabled veteran. He was also one of the volunteers who helped create the fishing pond on a branch of McElhattan Creek.
"There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason why they'd want to remove something that's good for the community," he said.
For the past two years, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has approved trout fishing at the pond. This year, the permit was denied. Even so, the township just added a second dam at the pond.
"I had four guys here about a week or two ago carrying stones that was this big in an assembly line just off the bank and putting them just in the low-lying areas that some waters come through sometimes and divert around," said Doris Fritz, Wayne Township Recreational Board.
The state Department of Environmental Protection tells Newswatch 16 that the fishing area is on a protected waterway that does not allow for dams or stocking.
"The recreation board through donations just spent over $250 dollars to put 100 fish in here and if we have to take this pond out, then we'll lose the fish down the river," said Jane White, Wayne Township Recreational Board.
State agencies and Wayne Township officials plan to meet Tuesday morning to talk about what to do next.