My family didn't have a lot of money when I was a kid.  A summer vacation trip far away was something very rare.  But, we still had fun close to home.  I've made a decision.  I'm going back to a spot that I remember well from my childhood. 

I have arrived at that place.  It’s the Spillway at Pymatuning State Park near Linesville.  It’s a special place with a special theme.. "Where The Ducks Walk On The Fish."  Generations of people have been coming here to throw pieces of bread into the water.  They then watch as throngs of carp try to eat the bread before a hungry bird snatches it away from them.  Sometimes the ducks or geese have to walk on the backs of the fish to claim the delicious prize.  Do people really want to experience something like this?  You bet they do.

"We have traffic counter in the parking lot.  So we know we have around 400,000 visitors a year that just come to this attraction alone.  Some state parks don't get that for their entire population,” says Dan Bickel, Park Manager.   

Dan says people started visiting here in 1934 when construction of the Pymatuning Reservoir was completed. Carp, an invasive species of fish, soon took over this section of the the thousands!!!  There's just something about these big fish with the big mouths.

"They are naturally attracted to this flowing water here,” says Dan. “Not only for the nutrients and insects and things that they would feed on. But they started to feed on bread people would feed them.  So there were several roadside vendors set up here clear back in the 30s."  

The tradition of feeding the fish and the birds that climb on their backs continues to this day. Oh, the memories!!  Fae Rahiser, from Butler County, says her parents brought her here in the 70s just as my parents did with me in the 60s.  What is it about this place with the ducks and the fish that makes us come back?

"I don't know,” says Fae. “It's just a novelty thing.  What made you come back?” she said with a smile.

Anina Grant and Frank Vargas are visiting Pymatuning State Park.  They are from New Orleans.  Friends from this area told them that they had to check out the place where the ducks walk on the fish.  They came.  They saw.

"Literally.  Ducks walking on fish.  They weren't lying,” Frank said after witnessing the feeding frenzy. “I had to see it for myself and that's exactly what I'm seeing."

Park officials realize that bread is not a good thing for birds to eat. However, day-old bread is sold at a concession stand because of the tradition.  The park urges people to feed the bread to the fish only and to keep it away from the ducks and geese.