Love bluegill? Check out U.P.'s Rockland Pond

scenic shot of Rockland PondLocated just one half mile south of the village of Rockland in the Upper Peninsula's Ontonagon County, Rockland Pond is a small (4 acre) waterbody with plenty of bluegill fishing opportunities.

Originally known as "Michigan Pond", Rockland Pond is the site of the former Minnesota Copper Mine. From 1855 to 1862 this mine was considered the most productive copper mine in the U.S., yet here we are several years later with plenty of chances to "mine" great fishing.

The pond has a maximum depth of 15 feet and has a diverse panfish population with bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, black crappie, yellow perch and rock bass all found there. It has a flat grass and bedrock shoreline which makes it easy for anglers to access the edge.

Although privately owned by American Forest Management, Inc., public access is available through a gravel boat launch which accommodates small boats, kayaks and canoes.

The DNR has been quick to tout the value of fishing Rockland Pond by designating it a Family Friendly Fishing Water. This means it is easy to access and presents a high likelihood of catching fish for those who visit it.

"Much of the reason Rockland Pond has been deemed as family-friendly is thanks to the work done by Ontonagon businessman, Larry Greig," said George Madison, a DNR fisheries manager in the western Upper Peninsula. "Larry has been a leader in developing appropriate landscape shoreline and working with the DNR to collect health samples of the resident bluegill so we can then stock wild-transferred fish."

Rockland Pond is stocked with panfish every spring by the DNR - you can check out Michigan's Fish Stocking Database for full details regarding those activities.

"While this waterbody isn't popular for ice fishing due to the lack of safe ice that accumulates, it is very popular during the open water season," explained Madison. "It is particularly great in the fall with the beautiful fall colors that surround it."

Additional efforts at Rockland Pond are supported by Rockland Township, the Upper Peninsula Sport Fishing Association and Rockland American Legion which placed a fire ring and picnic tables by the shore.

It should be noted that Rockland Pond is featured in this month's story regarding U.P. kayak fishing as well. One more reason to put it on your list of spots to visit!