C&D CANAL: Summit Retriever and Sporting Dog Training Areas
Among the resources the Del
Bay Retriever Club offers its members are the Summit Retriever and Sporting Dog Areas located in the Wildlife Area of the
C&D Canal. Approximately 3 miles in length and 1 mile in width, the SRTA
and the SPDA have been said by many to be the finest public retriever and sporting dog training areas on the East Coast.
Since the 1960's, Del Bay
has been active in the Canal area and formally assumed stewardship in partnership with the State of Delaware/U.S. Corps of
Engineers in the mid-1990's. This cooperative relationship has been beneficial
to the general public as well as the dog training community.
Del Bay performs many tasks
within the canal area:
hold an annual clean-up day the second week in July to remove
trash and litter. While the State of Delaware provides dump truck and
loader, Del Bay provides the labor. At a recent clean-up, forty-some
members removed 4 tons of trash … roof shingles, bathroom
fixtures, cans, glass, etc. and a discarded boat.
groom the area for dog training through daily litter pickup and twice
mowings. Each mowing consists of approximately 40 hours of
and the cost is born entirely by the Del Bay Club through
funds, picnic (training) trials, hunt tests, and field trials.
Del Bay spends approximately $3000 a year in mowing.
enhance the dog training areas through special projects. Last year
(2004) Del Bay embarked on three special projects: (a) controlling the
Purple Loosestripe plant through a beetle release project in
with the University of Delaware with costs shared by Del
University of Delaware, the National Fish and Wildlife
and the Water Resource Foundation; (b)
the dog training areas with cooperative construction of the State
National Guard; and (c ) the construction of mounds for
assist in law enforcement through reporting unlawful behaviors such
gun behavior, "turfing" fields, use of unlicensed vehicles, and so
forth. It is not uncommon to discover abandoned stolen vehicles that
torched. Del Bay's daily presence contributes to the
of unlawful and environmentally destructive behavior.
Development of the C&D
Canal dog training areas was accomplished under the early leadership of Del Bay members.
Among those who played an important role was Jesse Mitchell who worked closely with the U.S. Corps of Engineers and
guidance led to the construction
of the technical pond now named "Mitchell Pond".
Other Del Bay members whose
names are now lost in history contributed significantly to the creation of the dog training areas. Current and future Del Bay Club members and the general dog training public are indebted to the foresight.