Linesville, Pennsylvania: Where the Ducks Walk on the Fish

At the Pymatuning Reservoir, a place where the fish are so plentiful, the ducks walk across them. At the spillway, hurl bread and watch the action!

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Pymatuning Dam carp love bread.

Where the Ducks Walk on the Fish

In the summer of 1936, I was six years old. It was the first time my dad and his friend took me to Pymatuning Dam. He had a 1935(?) Ford coupe; I rode in the rumble seat. My mother packed us a lunch. We stopped on the dam and walked to the edge to see the fish in the spillways. I ran back to the car and got a sandwich. I tossed a small piece of bread to the fish. The fish went wild for the bread, so I started tossing in more. Pretty soon a crowd of people were at the rail watching. Before I came along, no one was tossing anything to the fish. I threw most of my sandwich to the fish. A year later we returned to the dam and there were guys selling bread on the dam. I like to believe I started it.

[Sam Younghans, 03/11/2012]

Carp amok!

Linesville Dam, Fish Hatchery

In the restricted fishing waters of the PA Game Commission Fish Hatchery, At the Linesville Dam, the large carp and water fowl compete for the bread and other items tossed in to feed the creatures. Try to get the fish to follow a piece of bread, over the head of the dam. Watch the ducks and geese "walk on water" walk on the bodies of the fish.

Visitors Center just up the road from the feeding station gives details about the PA Fisheries program and seasonally available are tours of the hatchery, you may be lucky enough to see small fry, little fish or those ready for release into the waters of PA. Newly renovated "feeding station" visitors center sells bread for feeding and small memorabilia.

[Greg, 07/23/2009]

Carp are ready to be fed.

Where the Ducks Walk on the Fish

It is always a fun day when you get to see the carp at the Pymatuning spillway. I snapped photos when we went to visit. It is truly amazing. I think the spillway is closing for the balance of the summer, but will reopen next spring. I hope they still allow feeding fish when it does reopen.

[Erin Grabigel, 08/10/2006]

Duck walks on the fish.

Where the Ducks Walk on the Fish

I had often heard about this feeding frenzy attraction in Linesville. For the past 5 years I wanted to see it for myself. I recently had a chance to pass that way and made a point to stop and see what all the hubbub was about. Oh my gosh, was I in for a shock! I cannot begin to describe how many fish are there! They were packed so tight, trying to get the food people threw in the water, they'd literally squeeze each other up and out of the water! A stranger, writhing mass of living creatures is not to be seen anywhere else in PA.

[Ron Lutz II, 10/13/2005]

Carp enjoys a hard roll.

Where the Ducks Walk on the Fish

We once lived in Northwest PA, near Pymatuning Dam, near an absolute must-see site... the Linesville Spillway. Here you will find a little shop that is dedicated to selling cheap trinkets and T-shirts and its biggest sell, loafs of moldy bread. There is, of course, a purpose to the bread... and that is the site's biggest attraction. This is, after all, trumpeted as the one place in America where "the ducks walk on the fish."

Every year thousands of incredibly ugly and huge carp infest the shoreline to be fed by the hundreds of tourists who show up every day with their moldy bread. Throw the bread and the water churns with a seething mass of ugly fighting fish. Ducks and geese hang out in the hope of getting some bread and, when the fish are at their churningest, they quite literally walk over their backs in their search for food.

A hint for tourists: there are cheaper little stores at either end of the spillway that sell nothing but moldy bread.The site is located between Hartstown and Linesville in Crawford County.

[Bill and Roberta Hand, 06/16/1997]

Photo added August 2006 of a carp enjoying a hard roll.

Where the Ducks Walk on the Fish

Linesville-Hartstown Rd, Linesville, PA
I-80 to I-79 north. I-79 to exit 36, US 6/322 west through Conneaut Lake, stay right on US 6 to Linesville, then left on S. Mercer St. to the Spillway.
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In the region:
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