Steps being planned to improve Palm’s Pond

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By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

Palm's Pond as it looks today.
Palm’s Pond as it looks today.

Taking care of Groveport’s Palm’s Pond is more complicated than it looks.

Earlier this spring, resident William Milton complained to Groveport City Council that the pond, located in the southern portion of Heritage Park along Wirt Road, is in poor condition and it is being overfished by people not following the city’s catch and release rules.

Milton said better signage stating the rules and hours regarding fishing at the pond are needed. He also noted the pond’s deteriorating, muddy condition and stated the cattails and other natural vegetation around the pond are gone, which he said has harmed the fish habitat.

On May 19, Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall said as city officials investigated the matter they found  signage is also lacking at the city’s other parks with ponds as well as retention ponds under city control. She also said they discovered the city’s rules

Palm's Pond as it looked in 2006 with cattails and natural vegetation at its banks.
Palm’s Pond as it looked in 2006 with cattails and natural vegetation at its banks.

regarding ponds, “Weren’t what we thought they were and we have to make sure the rules meet Ohio law.”
She said officials are working on obtaining proper signage and getting the rules in order.

Regarding the condition of Palm’s Pond, City Engineer Steve Farst said there are two options for stabilizing the water level of the pond. One is to install a pump station that would send excess water into Metro Parks wetlands south of Heritage Park; and the other would be to put in a gravity drain that would flow into the nearby ditch by the golf course.

“The pond tends to fill up over time because it has no natural outlet,” said Farst, adding the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has concerns about the pond’s water level and its affect on stocking the pond with fish.

Farst said a pump station would require electricity be provided to the area around the pond. He said bringing electricity to the pond area would give the city the option of adding lighting and also wiring the shelterhouse.

“We could do more out at the pond during Apple Butter Day if we have electricity out there,” added Hall.

Farst said city officials are evaluating the cost of a pump station and could possibly get in next year’s budget.

The existing rules (which are now under review) for Palm’s Pond, according to the Groveport Parks and Recreation website, are :

•Boating, swimming, ice fishing, ice skating and walking on ice is prohibited, unless approved by the administrator.

•Persons age 16 and older must catch and release fish, except during two-week period of scheduled fish releases/stocking.

•Any bass or catfish under 16 inches in length must be released.

•Hunting or collecting of frogs, turtles, birds or other animals on park property is prohibited, unless otherwise authorized by state law.

•Casting of fish nets for purpose of catching fish is prohibited.

•Boating and operation of gas powered model boats is prohibited.

•All other state and federal wildlife statutes are applicable.

•All parks in Groveport are open from dawn to dusk.

About Palm’s Pond
•The pond area encompasses about 1 acre.
•The pond at its deepest point is about 28 feet.
•The pond is stocked with trout once a year in the fall by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
•Other kinds of fish in the pond include: bass, bluegill, catfish and crappie.
•The pond was created from an existing wetland area by the city of Groveport in the early 2000s.
(Information provided by the Groveport Public Works Department.)

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