Waples Pond FISH Abundance of most game fish species was below average in this pond despite the abundance of woody structure. Moderate numbers of largemouth bass were present but few were larger than 15 inches. Growth was slightly below average for Delaware pond populations. Although bluegill were more abundant, most were between 4 and 7 inches. Growth of bluegill was average. Additional gamefish species included black crappie and yellow perch. Occasional chain pickerel have been taken by persistent anglers. Redear sunfish were collected here but in very low numbers. Common carp was the dominant fish. Over 600 per hour of electrofishing were collected in 2008, higher than any other State-owned pond. AQUATIC VEGETATION Hydrilla has dominated the pond bottom over the past decade making angling difficult during the late summer months. However, a decline in the coverage of hydrilla was observed in 2004. White waterlily was the most abundant aquatic plant in the back half of the pond, especially in the shallows. Small amounts of coontail and a little fanwort (Cabomba) were present in some areas with mixed bladderwort. Water levels were so low in the western portion of the pond in 2008 that the survey boat could not be launched into this section of the pond. In the portion of the pond east of Rt. 1, hydrilla remained the dominant plant species over the pond bottom. This pond was notable in the number and extent of rare and uncommon plant species. The “boggy” habitat in the headwater portion of the pond held many of these unusual species and should be closely monitored. SPECIAL CONDITIONS An unimproved boat ramp is currently available on the west side of Rt. 1 although during drought years such as 2008, water levels were too low for the use of outboards. Canoes and small boats may be carried to the water from several locations around the pond. Most small boats can float under the Rt. 1 Bridge that divides the pond. Waples Pond empties into Prime Hook Creek which flows through Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. This area is known for its somewhat isolated beauty and is popular with canoeists. It also has good gamefish populations, but boat movement from the pond to the creek requires a short portage. The creek and great expanse of surrounding freshwater wetlands is unique in Delaware.
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