Sunday, March 27, 2016

Coursey Pond

 One of the many ponds in Delaware that is great for kayaking, canoeing, boating, fishing, or just exploring nature in general is Coursey Pond.  Coursey Pond is located South West of Frederica, DE and South East of Felton, DE along Canterbury Road which is also known as Route 15.  This pond is a great place for beginning kayakers because it has fairly easy water entry and exit points, fairly shallow water depth, and since it is non-tidal there are no real currents.
Figure 1 – Coursey Pond
Figure  2 – Coursey Pond Boat Ramp

Figure 3 – Coursey Pond Satellite Map (Google Earth, 2016)

Figure 4 – Coursey Pond Map  (Google Maps, 2016)
The main entry point is a public access boat ramp which includes parking for approximately eight (8) vehicles.  The water entry is relatively easy via an improved boat ramp with a concrete pad with bulkheads on both sides (See Figure 2).  The boat ramp is in relatively good condition and appears to be well kept.  You can walk your kayak down the boat ramp as traction is relatively good.  Kayak entry can be made either from the water on the boat ramp or from the bulk head.  Either of these kayak entries does require good balance and some experience with kayak entry so the overall difficulty is beginner to moderate.  Exiting your kayak via the ramp or the bulkhead is just as easy as the entry.  There may be duck or goose feces around the boat ramp and bulkhead area so you may want to watch your step.
Figure 5 – Killen’s Pond Dam at Killen’s Pond Road

Figure 6  – Coursey Pond Dam at Canterbury Road
The shoreline measures approximately four (4) miles (see Figure 3) and the total surface water area is recorded as 58.1 acres (Coursey Pond, N.D.).  The depth of the pond ranges from a few inches at the edges and down the branches to four (4) feet at maximum in the central areas.  The average or mean depth is around two (2) feet (Coursey Pond, N.D.).  A large portion of the pond is covered with spatterdock or yellow water lilies which can impede access to certain areas where the growth is especially thick.  

Figure 7 – Killen’s Pond Road, Murderkill River Access
Figure 8 – Killen’s Pond Road, Murderkill River Guardrail
Figure 9 – Murderkill River Blockage
The Spring Branch which is located at the Northwest corner of Coursey Pond is accessible for a short distance until the water depth and foliage prevent passage (See Figure 4).  The unnamed branch located in the lower left of Figure 4 is technically considered the Murderkill River and ties into Killen’s Pond to the South West.  This portion of the pond is accessible but may be limited at certain times of the year due to foliage or water depth in general.  Crossing from the Murderkill River located here to Killen’s pond via water is impossible due to a dam (see Figure 5) at the roadway that crosses the waterway.   At the Eastern edge of Coursey Pond is another damn (see Figure 5) at Coursey Pond road that prevents water access to the Murderkill River on the other side.  Due to the dam on the Eastern side of the pond the pond is non-tidal; and, therefore, there is relatively no current except when you get close to the dam which is not recommended.
Figure 10 – Murderkill River Blockage Closeup
Water entry from the western side of the pond at the Killen’s Pond dam would be extremely difficult due to the guard rail, and the steep, rocky decline (see Figure 7 and Figure 8). In addition, parking in this area is controlled by the Killen’s Pond state park, requires a fee, and the available space is somewhat limited as you can see in Figure 8.  Lastly, there are several trees that have fallen in the river just beyond the potential river entry which block easy access to the river beyond (see Figure 9 and Figure 10).

The entire Coursey Pond area is a beautiful location for kayaking, canoeing, boating, fishing, or just exploring nature in general.  There are plenty of small nooks and crannies to explore as well as the Spring Branch at the Northwest end of the pond and the Murderkill River at the Southwest end of the pond.  If you are interesting in boating or fishing you may want to review the Delaware Regulations concerning such activities.  


Coursey Pond. (N.D.). Retrieved March 27, 2016, from Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control :
Google Earth. (2016). Coursey Pond. (T. Johnson, Ed.).
Google Maps. (2016). Coursey Pond. (T. Johnson, Ed.).

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