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Thread: Hoopes Reservoir ?

  1. #1

    Hoopes Reservoir ?

    In my never ending quest to find a fishing spot I can enjoy in solitude thought I'd ask about Hoopes. Pretty sure many folks have stories about it.My Dad used to talk about catching bluegill there the size of dinner plates.I thought there was a time when it was legal to fish there.In his mind it was when DE was still a small state and before the big money influenced the whole area around there.My personal story is of knowing the city workers who manned the pump station at the base of the dam.Unfortunately I was too young to realize the plate I had at the table of DE holy grail of fishing.My buddy dated the mans sister and he would tell us to drive up to ht e dam and stash our car in the woods.I remember asking him what if the cops came and he said I am the one who would call them.What sticks out in my mind was how deep the bank dropped off.One or two feet and it was waist deep.Instead of fishing unfortunately I spent more time doing other illegal activities at that age.I am sure others have similar stories and would love to hear them.One that I was also told is of divers sitting on what they though were logs at the dam only to have them swim away. Also although I know it s currently illegal to fish there just wondering if

    #1-say you befriended a bordering landowner to the reservior say a Dupont or Copeland is it legal to fish on there property into the reservoir
    #2- what is the fine if you get caught
    #3-is it patrolled by the big city police force currently
    #4-hypothetically if you were to get dropped off at dusk where would be the best area to fish

  2. #2

    Re: Hoopes Reservoir ?

    It has been a long time since I was there, but I seem to remember you could fish from the road that goes over the reservoir below the park. As far as getting dropped off at dusk and sneaking around in the dark I suspect that could get you some time in the city jail if some security guard didn't shoot you first. Good luck befriending a Copeland or DuPont.

  3. #3

    Re: Hoopes Reservoir ?

    Just looked up Hoopes on Wikipedia and saw it was last open to the public in 1971.Gimli as far as making friends with some of the landowners it's surprising how many of the kids that go to Charter and AI that play on the sports team with my son have parents who live in the area around the reservoir. Probably unlikely to happen but you never know. Another story I have heard is over the years is of state record fish being caught out of there and claimed to have come from other waters.

    http://www.oldwilmington.net/oldwilm...reservoir.html
    http://www.delawareonline.com/assets...L104215327.PDF

  4. #4

    Re: Hoopes Reservoir ?

    Back in the late 70's friends of mine did the late night fishing thing. It was the Wilmington police that patrolled then. A friend of mine's cousin drowned there, the cold water got him. I didn't fish there neither.

  5. #5
    Lurefest Coordinator Jay's Avatar
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    Re: Hoopes Reservoir ?

    Valley Garden Park.....
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    Senior Member Matt J's Avatar
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    Re: Hoopes Reservoir ?

    I fished hoopes once last fall. Cause 2 bass to 4lbs. I heard the police aren't very friendly if they catch you fishing there. I took the risk.

  7. #7

    Re: Hoopes Reservoir ?

    Jay,I googled Valley Garden Park and I am familiar with it. Spent the day there with the family years ago. Do you care to elaborate any ?

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    Lurefest Coordinator Jay's Avatar
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    Re: Hoopes Reservoir ?

    Nope!
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  9. #9

    Re: Hoopes Reservoir ?

    Statue of limitations is 7 years for most indescretions.

    Called Wilmington Police Dept. current fine for trespassing is around $250.00
    Last edited by rowboater; 06-06-2013 at 07:50 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member miki's Avatar
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    Re: Hoopes Reservoir ?

    Hoopes has always been "the dream" place to fish, but it has always been illegal. Even those who border Hoopes are not allowed to fish there. Hoopes is the back up water supply for Wilmington. Up until 1971, the top of the dam was open to the public but not the shore. Can;t remember why they closed it to the public. Looking into the water from the top of the dam, there were some very big fish swimming around. I only fished there once at night with a friend, We both caught very large bass 4 + lbs and my friend landed a huge carp. In the early 80's the mayor of Wilmington was making noises about opening Hoopes up to fishing. They were going to allow non motorized boats. The main reason it never happened was that the powers to be were afraid that there would be too much littering and the water supply may become contaminated. Also the cost of patroling was a factor.

    Miki
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Hatfield's Avatar
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    Re: Hoopes Reservoir ?

    We are starting work at the pump station later in the summer replacing the electical service and the pump controllers, hope to get some stories from workers.

  12. #12
    Lurefest Coordinator Jay's Avatar
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    Re: Hoopes Reservoir ?

    Miki is correct. It was a nice place just to go and walk to the top of the dam. It became a "party zone" with trails leading back into the woods. A young woman was raped there and it was closed to the public soon after. I can't remember for sure where or when I heard this but there were farms that were left intact when they flooded that valley in the thirties. Divers reported very large fish around the old stone buildings in the deep. I have not been there in more years that I can count or remember.
    It would be great if the public could have access through a fee that could cover maintenance cost but apparently the Wilmington city govt. has ruled that out. I am interested in Hatfield's posting after he goes to work @ the pump house.
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  13. #13

    Re: Hoopes Reservoir ?

    Today, you're getting into terrorism type charges now with messing around Reservoirs.

  14. #14
    Senior Member esquired's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay:75330
    . I can't remember for sure where or when I heard this but there were farms that were left intact when they flooded that valley in the thirties. Divers reported very large fish around the old stone buildings in the deep. .
    There is fhat same story for several of the deep water lakes near me

    After looking at the construction footage and reportz as well as too much time on the water, the best I found was some stone fence lines and foundations from roads and buildings
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  15. #15

    Re: Hoopes Reservoir ?

    I remember walking that trail, all the big fish we could see fromthe top of then dam.
    I also remember going back there as a teenager and going swimming at night. Oh the times of days gone by ...

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    Senior Member right_hook's Avatar
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    Thank god they never opened it to the filthy huddled masses. Its a lot more fun this way.
    Always willing to learn more.
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    Re: Hoopes Reservoir ?

    This post triggers memories of sneaking into other "off-limits" waters in northern Delaware when I was a kid. I grew up in Claymont and two of my favorite "illegal" places to fish were the Phoenix Steel mill and what is called "Bellevue Lake" off Rt. 13 in Holly Oak. There were some thermal effluent ponds behind the steel mill that were warm and crystal clear. Fishing there was always risky because the area was heavily patrolled by security guards. Not only did you have to keep an eye out for them, but you also had to evade the Amtrak police to get to the site. 4 lb+ bass were the norm there! We befriended one of the security guards who used to let us fish when he was on duty. But, our luck ran out one day when another guard caught us on the property and quickly escorted us to the front gate. Bellevue Lake was owned by a water company, I think. I just recall a couple of big holding tanks on the property. Fishing there required stealth and a "dawn patrol" approach. At that time, the Bellevue Corporate Center was being constructed and it overlooked the lake. We'd ride our bikes there, hide them, and then tie a long, thick rope off on a tree so we could rappel down a fairly steep escarpment. Once our feet hit firm ground, we'd stay low and walk through a couple hundred yards of some thick brush to get to the lake's edge. Then, with rods held above our heads, we'd swim about 50-60 yds to reach a small island in the middle of the pond. The bluegills there were absolute slobs and they had those steep, sloping foreheads that they can only get with age. You could catch one on every cast! And, the chain pickerel seemed as big as alligators!

  18. #18

    Re: Hoopes Reservoir ?

    Quote Originally Posted by rowboater View Post
    Jay,I googled Valley Garden Park and I am familiar with it. Spent the day there with the family years ago. Do you care to elaborate any ?
    If they see you with a fishing rod someone will tell you to leave .
    "Don't mess with old farts...age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill! Bullshit and brilliance only come with age and experience!"

  19. #19
    Senior Member Hatfield's Avatar
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    Re: Hoopes Reservoir ?

    We do a bunch of work at the mill, I have been back there many time on the back roads working on the river pumps. Never noticed any clear water in the ponds, but never really looked, looks like I will have a rod with me next time. Just looked at google maps, now I have a plan, guess with all projects we did over the years never thought of this, to busy working I guess. Use to fish the pond at Curtis Paper Mill 20 years ago during lunch when doing projects there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrapple View Post
    This post triggers memories of sneaking into other "off-limits" waters in northern Delaware when I was a kid. I grew up in Claymont and two of my favorite "illegal" places to fish were the Phoenix Steel mill and what is called "Bellevue Lake" off Rt. 13 in Holly Oak. There were some thermal effluent ponds behind the steel mill that were warm and crystal clear. Fishing there was always risky because the area was heavily patrolled by security guards. Not only did you have to keep an eye out for them, but you also had to evade the Amtrak police to get to the site. 4 lb+ bass were the norm there! We befriended one of the security guards who used to let us fish when he was on duty. But, our luck ran out one day when another guard caught us on the property and quickly escorted us to the front gate. Bellevue Lake was owned by a water company, I think. I just recall a couple of big holding tanks on the property. Fishing there required stealth and a "dawn patrol" approach. At that time, the Bellevue Corporate Center was being constructed and it overlooked the lake. We'd ride our bikes there, hide them, and then tie a long, thick rope off on a tree so we could rappel down a fairly steep escarpment. Once our feet hit firm ground, we'd stay low and walk through a couple hundred yards of some thick brush to get to the lake's edge. Then, with rods held above our heads, we'd swim about 50-60 yds to reach a small island in the middle of the pond. The bluegills there were absolute slobs and they had those steep, sloping foreheads that they can only get with age. You could catch one on every cast! And, the chain pickerel seemed as big as alligators!
    Last edited by Hatfield; 06-07-2013 at 12:46 PM.

  20. #20

    Re: Hoopes Reservoir ?

    Blackbird Pond Farm,Winterthur,News Journal,Sumerset Lake could go on and on but don't wanna lead anyone down the wrong path.Pretty much all my best fishing stories come from "restricted access" honey holes.Never got into any trouble sneaking into them of course in my prime I was much stealthier.Had a co-worker and we would exchange secret spots.He is an old timer and has a bunch. Told him how to get to Little Falls and where to park one day.I guess he picked the wrong day to cross the train tracks and he got a ticket from the Amtrak police. Did feel really bad about it @ the time although now we both give each other a hard time over it.Still spend a lot of time on Google earth and looking at the Gazetteer finding new ones just am a little more selective now fishing them.

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