Saturday, September 20, 2008

Of Loaves, Fish & A Spillway

Speaking of news from Western PA:

I was tickled Thursday to see a report in The New York Times about the feeding of bread to the fish in Pymatuning Lake spillway, which my family visited once or twice when I was a kid. The report was a follow-up to this article (that I missed) on August 31.

From Sean D. Hamill:

Every year, an estimated 500,000 people trek to the lake in northwestern Pennsylvania to see a veritable carpet of carp in the water.

The impromptu roadside attraction is known in part for the sight of ducks walking over the backs of the carp to get at some of the bread themselves. This has spurred Linesville to call itself “Where the Ducks Walk on the Fishes.”

In July, the state said it wanted to end the 70-year tradition because it was generating litter and attracting geese that were defecating on local beaches and campgrounds.

A community uproar led to a three-hour public meeting on Sept. 8 that attracted nearly 400 people, who nearly unanimously opposed the move. Many worried that the change would deter visitors, who spend money in local restaurants and other businesses.

“Hey, with that many people, numbers speak,” Pete Houghton, manager of Pymatuning State Park, said Thursday.

The photo above, of the Pymatuning Lake spillway, is credited to Jeff Swensen.

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