With today’s ribbon cutting at Garrisons Lake near Smyrna, the fishing and boating public is officially invited to enjoy the popular angling destination with its newly-renovated concrete boat ramp and added amenities of a courtesy dock and freshly repaved parking lot. Managed by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the new ramp can easily accommodate vessels from hand-launched jon boats to trailered bass boats up to 20 feet long.
Garrisons Lake is one of Delaware’s five most-fished ponds, with good populations of sunfish, largemouth bass and black crappie sport fish most frequently caught by anglers. The recreation spot south of Smyrna is also among the state’s top 10 most popular ponds and lakes for largemouth bass tournaments, attracting both local and out-of-state fishing clubs.
“DNREC’s public service mission includes providing and enhancing outdoor recreational opportunities for Delawareans and visitors, as well as supporting local communities by providing facilities like this new boat ramp at Garrisons Lake,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Anglers have a good chance of catching a 4- or 5-pound bass here, so these renovations will enhance the lake’s appeal and popularity as a tournament destination as well as a great place to fish.”
The $353,700 project was funded by federal Sport Fish Restoration grants administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), combined with matching funds from Delaware recreational fishing license fees through the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife. The federal funds come from fishing tackle excise taxes paid by recreational anglers and fuel taxes paid by boaters. The new facility replaces a deteriorated 30-plus-year-old boat ramp.
Other improvements made at Garrisons Lake in partnership with USFWS have included a nearly 140-foot-long, handicapped-accessible aluminum footbridge completed in 2012. The popular footbridge makes Garrisons Lake a safer and more accessible place to fish. Previously, anglers and visitors had to walk along the shoulder of a busy highway. The footbridge also provides safe and convenient fishing access to the spillway.
Garrisons Lake is one of 65 boating access areas managed and maintained by DNREC throughout the state.
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website