Linesville Spillway – Linesville, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura
Our new kids' book is on sale! Shop now.

Linesville, Pennsylvania

Linesville Spillway

"Where the ducks walk on fish." 

The Linesville Spillway advertises the enigmatic slogan, “Where the ducks walk on fish,” but in this case the gargantuan school of carp that rise to the surface to feed on the tourist-thrown scraps of bread make sure that the attraction is  just as advertised. 

The spillway is located off of a bridge in the Pymatuning Reservoir in northwestern Pennsylvania. Part of Pymatuning State Park, the massive release valve can be seen from the bridge across the reservoir where mallard ducks and Canada geese scan the water for choice morsels, however they are not the only thing lying in the dark waters. Visitors can buy bags of stale bread from nearby merchants and chuck slices into the water, bringing to the surface a roiling horde of carp which instinctively scramble after the scraps in a feeding frenzy. The number of carp is so abundant that the floating birds often find themselves literally standing on a bed of scaly, writhing garbage fish.

The strange, if exciting, natural attraction was threatened with a shutdown in 2008, as officials tried to put a halt to bread being thrown from the bridge, but massive outcry from locals changed the state’s mind. Up to 500,000 visitors each year stop in the community to incite a fish riot, and the community would have hated to see those tourist dollars migrate elsewhere.