September 2013 Update–I no longer see these ponds listed as being part of the program. There are several other spots to try, though. Let us know if you find another VPA site worth sharing, in the comments section below.
May 12, 2012
There are two farm ponds near Salvisa, in Northwestern Mercer County, that are part of the program. My goal was to visit both. I made it to only one; the map and directions I had to get to the other ignored the fact that some of the connecting roads appeared to be a driveway or dirt path…anyway, if you want to visit, you really should use GPS or follow the directions carefully on the KDFWR site.
Salvisa Pond #2 is quite visible from the road (Route 1987/Kirkwood Rd). The turn to get to the pond is a different story. There is a ranch-style farmhouse, and a fairly steep turn onto a gravel road to the left of the house. A large brown sign identifying the pond, with regulations sits about 50 yards off the highway. Drive past the sign, then go right. Park near the pond. If you are in a small vehicle, or have low clearance, this might be a tricky place to get into.
The pond is large–a small lake, really–but is heavily covered in algae, weeds and lily pads. There is a small dock, which puts you within about 10 feet of open water. Weedless rigs would definitely make sense. I threw a worm on a slip bobber, and instantly hooked and landed a decent bluegill. The same presentation caught a few more small bluegill and green sunfish. I switched to a weedless grub, no luck, and then weedless frog, which seemed to be a great possibility for this pond, but yielded nothing.
The sign indicates a minimum size for crappie and catch and release of all bass. I didn’t hook anything other than the bluegill and sunfish in the hour I spent there. I packed it in, and headed out in search of Salvisa Pond #1…I ended up on the wrong side of the Bluegrass Parkway, using the GPS on my phone to guide me back to something familiar. By then it was getting dark, and time to head home.
The VPA program is a very nice thing to have available–attached is a link to the page where you can find directions.
Update 9/9/2012: I visited Salvisa Pond #1 today. I caught a couple of bluegill, and another group caught a limit of bluegill. The pond is covered in heavy moss, but between the clumps, there are fish. This is also a public dove field.