FARMINGTON — The fish are in and ready to be caught at Farmington’s new Fish N Play at 294 Titcomb Hill Road.  

A soft opening takes place Saturday, Aug. 1, followed by a grand opening Aug. 15 and 16, Clayton King, owner, said. 

The pond will be open from dawn to dusk every day and is located across from CJ’s Appliances, run by King and his wife, Joyce.

A total of approximately 500 6-inch rainbow and brook trout were stocked in the new pond 10 weeks ago, he said.

The fish are fed about 15 pounds of fish pellets a day and now average about 9 or 10 inches, he added as the trout rippled the water surface, some jumping out of the water to gather the food he threw in.

The pond, dug last September, is 28 feet deep, and was filled with spring water within six days. There is plenty of spring-fed water here, he said.

The Kings plan to keep the 5,000-square-foot triangular shaped property “rough, rustic and affordable,” he said. It will also be a family-oriented place, he added. 

A portion of the new pond has a rock perimeter with a flat grass area where people can fish and use picnic tables. When the work is finished, the whole pond will be surrounded by grass and additional picnic tables. 

The plans for the natural recreation area have taken a little longer than expected, he said.

“But it just shows how hard work can do something good,” he said. “Everything has been paid for.”

Picnic tables and a sand-play area will be in this weekend. By the grand opening, swings and fireplaces will be in place. There will be drinkable water available, but no electricity, he said.

King’s dream, now a reality, is to provide a place near town for people to come and spend the day or a few hours picnicking and fishing. Opportunities for weddings and photos, reunions and other group events are also available. 

Ospreys, bald eagles and other small critters have challenged the new fish. So far, King has found that 13 out of the 500 have succumbed to such predators, he said.

King has worked with biologists from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in Strong, who he said gave him some good advice about fish feeding times and other methods to keep wildlife from taking the fish.

People can fish for $10 a pole and 50 cents an inch for each fish caught or a family can picnic for $10 a table per day, he said.

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