For just the second time in its history, the reservoir was open to anglers
By ELISE McKEOWN SKOLNICK
People lined Meander Reservoir off Salt Springs Road for a chance to do something they’ve never done before: fish in the reservoir.
Brenda Wallace traveled from Cleveland for the free event that took place Saturday.
“As a matter of fact, I took the day off to come,” she said.
She caught a bluegill, and her brother, James Wallace of Youngstown, caught a catfish.
They enjoy trying new fishing spots, Brenda said.
“It beats cutting the grass,” James said. “It’s a good, relaxing sport.”
Both would like to see the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District open the reservoir for fishing again.
“I love it,” Brenda said. “They need to do it more often.”
Her brother agreed. “This hasn’t been fished for a while,” he said.
Jacob Oles, 7, was happy to spend the day fishing with his uncle, Matt Oles.
“We just wanted to get out and have a little bit of fun,” said Matt, of Austintown. “Jake doesn’t get to fish much, so I just thought, well, we’d bring him out and see if we can get Jake to catch some fish today.”
And catch them he did. Jacob brought home dinner: he caught three catfish and one bluegill.
The last, and first, time the MVSD opened the area to fishing was in 2007, for its 75th anniversary. In September of that year, children 13 and younger were permitted to fish.
“Our board of directors thought it was a good time to give back to the public again and invite them out to see us,” said Brenda Duffett, coordinator of this year’s event. “We’re doing this for appreciation of the public, to let them come in and see who we are and what we do here.”
Fishing spots were open to the first 1,000 people who submitted applications. The day was divided into two-hour time slots, with 300 people fishing during each slot. A tour of the plant also was offered.
Those fishing were confined to a designated area and were not allowed to use boats, in order to control litter. A cleanup was planned after the event, but Duffett said participants were being good about cleaning up after themselves.
Bert Pavicic of Poland agreed.
“Nobody’s dirty,” he said. “Everybody’s keeping it clean.”
And because of that, he felt they could have opened more of the shoreline to fisherman.
Neither he nor his son-in-law, Andy Kirspinsky of Streetsboro, caught any fish. They gave up after a couple of hours.
“A little too many people, I think,” Kirspinksy said.