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Although Records Pond at just over 90 acres, it is one of the larger lakes in Delaware. Delaware has no natural lakes, but the coastal state does have rivers, reservoirs, wetlands and estuaries, many of which are in Sussex County. Records Pond, along with its Sussex County neighbors Trap Pond and Millsboro Pond, provides abundant fish, wildlife and recreation opportunities.
Records Pond, also known as Laurel Lake, is an impoundment of Broad Creek. Near Laurel in southern Delaware, Records Pond was created in 1900 with the completion of the Records Pond Dam. Almost at sea level and with a maximum depth of 10 feet, the pond is relatively shallow. It is owned and managed by Delaware's Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Records Pond has healthy populations of crappie, pickerel, and bluegill, along with white perch. Large mouth bass are present but they are not plentiful. Their population, however, is growing. Redear sunfish are an established species in Records Pond. They are an introduced species and have taken hold in several Sussex County lakes. Anglers can fish from the shore or water in small boats. There is some very good fishing at the headwater tributaries. Records Pond is an accessible lake with an ADA accessible pier. Gasoline and electric motors are permitted, but size is restricted by the lake's shallow water.
Because of Records Pond's size, boating is limited to smaller boats. In addition to small motor boats, kayaks and canoes are also popular. The James Branch flows from Trap Pond and feeds the headwaters of Records Pond. It travels through a dedicated Nature Preserve past native bald cypress including a champion tree that is 127 feet tall and almost 25 feet around. It is a fantastic canoe trip and a great way to fish and enjoy the scenery.
Laurel, named for the native laurel that grows along Broad Creek, was founded in 1683 and incorporated in 1883. It experienced a period of growth in the mid 18th century with the establishment of a shipping point. Like most towns, Laurel's growth has gone in waves largely fueled by the timber industry and water-powered grist mills and sawmills.
Today there are over 800 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. As a result, Laurel's entire Historic District is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the largest of its kind in Delaware, and there is a self-guided walking tour to explore the district. Laurel is a featured town on the Southern Delaware Heritage Trail. The trail is an auto and cycling tour on back roads through six towns. Laurel is featured for its antiques, history and small town charm.
Visitors to Records Pond will find various accommodations in Laurel and the surrounding area. There are restaurants, antique shops and large flea markets, and visitors can easily find the provisions and amenities they need. Records Pond and the other Sussex County ponds have an abundance of fish, water fowl, and history. The pond's small town charm and accessible water are sure to make it a family favorite.
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