Residents have successfully lobbied for fishing fairness at a pair of ponds in The Villages.
Residents at one of the two ponds in the Village of Lake Deaton are tired of bearing the brunt of the fishermen wandering through their backyards and sitting under their shade trees.
Neil Hart thought he’d found his dream home perched on a pond on Underwood Street. He and his wife bought the home in 2014.
Over the years they became a little disenchanted when fishermen began fishing, quite literally, in the couple’s backyard.
“My wife and I can’t even go in the pool because of the people walking back there,” Hart told members of the Community Development District 10 Board of Supervisors last week in a meeting at SeaBreeze Recreation Center.
Hart’s neighbor, Theresa Kerwin who lives on Neighborly Way, also feels like a prisoner in her own home, because of the fishermen.
“What about safety? You know the world we all live in. You have given people permission to go behind my home and have full view of my property,” Kerwin said.
Fishing is allowed at water bodies in The Villages, unless it specifically says you can’t fish. That includes fishermen without a Villages ID.
You can read the complete fishing guidelines and see maps of allowable fishing areas in The Villages at this link: https://www.districtgov.org/departments/Recreation/images/FishingMapAndInfo.pdf
However, in the case of the twin pond at Lake Deaton, signs were posted years ago announcing, “No Public Access.” It’s not clear who posted the signs and on what authority. The signs, although without an enforcement power to back them up, have apparently worked. Fishermen regularly trudge over to the pond behind the Hart and Kerwin homes and never drop a hook in the twin pond with the signage.
“We don’t have the authority to post signs, but we do have the authority to take them away,” said CDD 10 Supervisor Christine Bradshaw.
The board agreed to remove the existing signs at the twin pond at the request of the homeowners. They said it would be more equitable to have the fishermen spread out at the ponds, rather than concentrating their fishing endeavors at the lone pond without the benefit of the signage.