Millsboro Pond, Delaware, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Mid-Atlantic - Delaware - Southern -

Delaware does not have any natural lakes, but the coastal state does have wetlands, rivers and estuaries, a large percentage of which are in Sussex County. Like other areas, the water in Sussex County has been changed by the people who settled there. Rivers were dammed, reservoirs formed, and swamps drained until the area became a collection of ponds and farmland. Millsboro Pond is a classic part of that history, and it is also a great place to fish and relax.

The original setters in the area around Millsboro Pond were the Native American tribe of the Nanticoke Indians who used the area as hunting and fishing grounds. The Nanticoke Indian Museum is an easy drive from Millsboro Pond and a great place to explore the history of the area. When the European settlers moved in, they started a rural farming community. In 1792 Elisha Dickerson found a narrow spot at the headwaters of the Indian River and built an earthen dam. Millsboro Pond is the resulting impoundment. The spot was called Rock Hole, named for the annual rockfish spawning. Mr. Dickerson also built a large gristmill and sawmill, and the town that grew up around them was originally called Rock Hole Mills. It had a sister town on the other side of the Indian River called Washington. In 1837 the two towns joined and became the single community of Millsborough. Eventually the town’s name was shortened to Millsboro.

Millsboro Pond is surrounded by the Town of Millsboro. Agriculture and timber were the area’s main industries, and by 1930 poultry farming and processing had become one of Millsboro’s biggest industries. Downtown Millsboro has maintained its classic small town charm, and visitors to Millsboro Pond can find various accommodations, restaurants, and shopping. Millsboro Pond itself is managed by the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Millsboro Pond has abundant populations of large mouth bass, black crappie, and pumpkinseed along with white perch, yellow perch and pickerel. At just over 100 acres of surface area, Millsboro Pond is conducive to fishing from the bank or by small boat. It is also a good place to canoe or kayak. Gasoline and electric motors are permitted, but size is restricted by the lake’s shallow water. Waterfowl are prevalent, and lucky visitors may see bald eagles over Millsboro Pond.

The water that flows from Millsboro Pond into the Indian River continues on to the Indian River Bay and finally into the Atlantic Ocean. The Indian River Bay is a shallow river valley, and along with Rehoboth Bay is part of a larger system of bays called the Inland Bays. In 1988 the Inland Bays were designated an Estuary of National Significance. The Center for Inland Bays was formed in 1994 to protect and improve the water quality of the Inland Bays. It is a non-profit agency that works to enhance the bays and watersheds.

In addition to Millsboro Pond, Sussex County is also home to Records Pond and Trap Pond. There are scenic sections of rivers for canoeing, bald cypress swamps and state parks and wildlife areas. Although small, the ponds are full of fish, and there are several fishing contests every year most of which fish multiple ponds. A trip to Millsboro Pond includes the small town charm of Millsboro, abundant fish, and all that southern Delaware has to offer. With its easy access and local amenities, Millsboro Pond is sure to become a family favorite.

Things to do at Millsboro Pond

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Museum
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Millsboro Pond

  • Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Striped Bass
  • Sunfish
  • White Perch
  • Yellow Perch

Millsboro Pond Photo Gallery

    Millsboro Pond Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

    Water Level Control: Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife

    Surface Area: 101 acres

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 26 feet

    Maximum Depth: 12 feet

    Completion Year: 1792

    Lake Area-Population: 2,360

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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