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New Trout Pond Opens in Blackwater

Scott County has a new family-friendly fishing spot—Pruitt Family Farm, located nine miles from Duffield at 4917 Dry Creek Rd., in Blackwater.

The farm is owned by Donnie and Pam Pruitt and the first pond is stocked with hundreds of Rainbow and Golden Trout, weighing between one to two pounds.  Fishing is open Thursday to Sunday, from 9 a.m. to dusk. No fishing license is required and payment is based on the poundage of caught fish. Customers are provided a receipt for the fish, just in case they are stopped by a game warden and questioned about their catch.

Scales used for weighing the fish are USDA calculated trade scales, similar to what customers see in a grocery store.  

This new venture has been a true family affair, with Pruitt’s wife, Pam, children, Logan, Luke and Alyssa all working and participating in preparation of the opening. “I wanted to teach the kids that anything worth having, you have to work at it,” Donnie says.

Pruitt purchased the 40-acre farm from family several years ago.  “When we first moved in here, the area where the trout pond is now located was nothing more than a swampy, boggy area.”  Donnie and his Uncle Don were sitting on the back porch one evening when his uncle remarked that the area would make a great trout pond.

Donnie has fond memories of fishing at Carrico’s Fishing Ponds, which was located near the former LP plant in Dungannon.  “My Dad used to take me down to Carrico’s to fish. I remember what a great time we had and the feeling of hauling in my own big fish.  I want other children to have the same memories I had of Scott County.”

He started by damming up the swamp area and creating the pond. Recently logging some of their property has provided an opportunity for this venture.

Along with the fish pond, Pruitt Farm also sells bait and tackle, fishing poles and snacks in the office he and the family constructed.  Poles are also available for rental for one dollar. Cash and debit cards are accepted.

Along with fishing, customers can also purchase farm fresh eggs from Pam’s free-range chickens.  She has a variety of chickens, including Sexlinks, Rhode Island Reds and Domineckers. She also makes and sells goat’s milk soap at the store.

Donnie plans to continue adding amenities to the fishing area and additional revenue sources. This summer, he plans to create a handicap deck for fishing and an outdoor picnic shelter and fire pit.  

Logging the property created good roads to easily access scenic spots on the Pruitt’s farm.  According to Donnie, the top of his property is known as Stone Ridge and has a clear view all the way to Kingsport.  “The elevation is 2600’ and you can see easily see all the way to Robinette Valley.”

This summer, Donnie will start making primitive camping sites on the property plus planting seedlings for a Christmas Tree Farm.  “Our goal is to have seasonal recreation here.”

Just across from the newly-created trout pond is another spring-fed pond that has been on the property for at least 20 years.  Later in the season, Donnie plans to add Catfish here to give customers another variety of fish to catch.

An electrician by trade, Donnie has carefully laid out the plans for Pruitt Family Farms.  “I spent several months researching the trout pond idea.”

Donnie is employed by Joy Mining (Komatsu) in Duffield; Pam most recently was a Head Start teacher assistant.  She has since quit to obtain her Bachelor’s in Education and manage the family farm.

Pruitt Family Farms is easy to find.  From Gate City, head north on 23 Duffield.  At the intersection of 23/58 and Duff-Patt Highway, turn left onto Duff-Patt Highway.  Travel 3.6 miles and turn left onto Pattonsville Road. Pattonsville Road turns into Dry Creek Road and stay on that road for 4.8 miles.  The farm is located on the left at 4971. For information, call 423-289-4630.

The weekend weather forecast calls for clear skies and warmer temperatures.  Pack your kids up in the car and take them over to Pruitt’s Family Farm. (With all the fish I saw in the pond, I can almost guarantee the kids will not be disappointed.)