'Please Give a Dam'
The kids fishing program needs financial support if it is to return to the Doylestown Borough dam again this year.
Doylestown's Borough Dam once faced an uncertain future, but volunteers rallied to save the pond where generations of town residents had grown up learning to fish.
The modern incarnation of that tradition, the popular Youth Fishing Program, needs financial support again this year if it is to continue.
The Friends of the Borough Dam is soliciting donations to fund the day of fishing, which draws hundreds of kids and their families to the pond off of East State Street near Fanny Chapman pool.
"We need your support to keep this great project going and assisting us in teaching our youth to get hooked on fishing and not on other things," Mike Stachel wrote this week in a letter to supporters.
Fishing day in 2013 is Saturday, March 30, Stachel said. Kids 16 years old or younger may cast their lines into the pond promptly at 8 a.m.
But a lot of effort - and money - goes into making it all happen.
Volunteers will grill up 1,200 hot dogs and 600 hamburgers for the hungry anglers, and 40 cases of soda also will be consumed.
Then, there are the fish themselves, which will be stocked into the pond on Wednesday, March 27. More than 100 kids typically show up to help, and it takes them more than an hour and a half to get all the fish into the pond, Stachel said.
The pond isn't really a pond. It's a man-made, concrete water reservoir connected to the borough waterworks.
And though it has a long-standing place in Doylestown history, it almost became history itself.
In 1994, the concrete walls were collapsing, the sides were leaking water and silt had clogged the bottom. The water was only about 18 inches deep and didn't support much aquatic life, according to borough manager John Davis.
Doylestown Borough Council faced a tab of about $100,000 to fix the pond and started talking about filling the pond in permanently.
Stachel and other volunteers stepped in to head up the repair project. Materials and labor were donated and the pond was restored in 1994 for about $14,000.
To help the Friends of the Borough Dam keep the Doylestown kids fishing tradition alive, checks made payable to the Friends of the Borough Dam may be mailed to 57 W. Court St., Doylestown, PA 18901.
For more information, contact Stachel at 215-348-8990.