Bent on cleaning up city fishing holes, duo rings bell for volunteers

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The co-hosts of a Worcester-based online fishing show are paying it forward, so to speak, by organizing an effort to clean up some of the city’s top fishing spots, starting with Bell Pond on Belmont Street.

A popular swimming destination as well, Bell Pond is one of three city bodies of water stocked with trout for fishing. It’s also lately well stocked with trash.

“It’s pretty bad,” said Anthony Romeo, co-host of GetBentTV. “There’s trash 20 feet from the shore into the woods and then there’s trash all around the pond.

Bell Pond is a popular fishing and swimming destination along Belmont Street.

Patrick Sargent / For Worcester Sun

Bell Pond is a popular fishing and swimming destination along Belmont Street.

“There’s trash in the water, on the shore and on the beach — all over the place.”

“We’re trying to get a small group of people together to do a walk around the park and pick up trash,” said John Field, Romeo’s TV and fishing partner. “We went fishing there about a month ago after the pond was stocked. It’s a great spot to fish, it should be one of the cleanest bodies of water in Worcester, and it’s spring-fed.”

The duo plans a May 28 cleanup at the pond and is seeking volunteers.

“It’s one of the only ponds that they stock in Worcester. It’s a great fishery, but around the pond is a mess,” Field added.

On the beach area Friday, April 15, there were several broken beer bottles, a used condom and a scattering of empty (alcoholic beverage) “nips.” Plastic bags and other trash littered the water near two geese and along the hiking paths there were loads of household trash.

Trash floats among leaves and weeds at Bell Pond.

Patrick Sargent / For Worcester Sun

Trash floats among leaves and weeds at Bell Pond.

City officials did not respond to questions over how often and specifically when the pond and park area are cleaned. Department of Public Works & Parks Commissioner Paul J. Moosey’s office referred the Sun to city spokesman John Hill, who declined to provide further information prior to the Sun publishing deadline.

Bell Pond opened for swimming last year July 1.

GetBentTV premiered in Spring 2014 and has run six episodes since its launch.

“There’s been a huge response from local fishermen following our shows. People want to know where we are fishing and what we’re using,” Romeo said.

Ideally, the pair would like to see GetBentTV picked up by a television station, but right now they’ve succeeded via social media.

“It’s a great medium to get in touch with local fishermen and educate others on where to go and what to use,” Romeo said.

Romeo, of Worcester, is a graduate of Holy Name High School and Clark University. He owns and runs Gym & Juice, a supplement and nutrition bar inside World Gym at the Greendale Mall. He is the cousin of recently named Holy Name football coach Jim Romeo.

Field, of Douglas, who now lives in Worcester, is a graduate of Worcester State University.

The fishing duo said they wanted to start cleaning up at Bell Pond because it’s the first place they fished together in Worcester this year.

Geese must pick their spots wisely while coming ashore at Bell Pond, where trash rings the water and beach area.

Patrick Sargent / For Worcester Sun

Geese must pick their spots wisely while coming ashore at Bell Pond, where trash rings the water and beach area.

“It’s a great place to start,” Field said. “This is something we want to keep doing maybe once a month or once every few months where we pick a different spot that needs some cleaning up. It’s a great place for other people to enjoy, kids especially.”

“Bell Pond is centrally located. That not only provides recreational use like swimming, but also allows people to get outside many times a year to experience fishing,” Romeo said.

“We’ve only fished there once,” Field said, “but we want to make it a regular spot for us. And we think by cleaning it up it will help that area thrive.”

According to the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Bell Pond is one of three natural trout-stocked bodies of water in Worcester. The other two are Lake Quinsigamond and Coes Pond.

Bell Pond and Coes Pond get stocked each spring. Lake Quinsigamond gets stocked each spring and fall.

Trash along the shore of Bell Pond.

Patrick Sargent / For Worcester Sun

Trash along the shore of Bell Pond.

“We want to make this place fishable for everyone, especially kids. It’s such a great resource to have in the middle of the city where we typically don’t have these kinds of resources,” Romeo said.

Field added, “We are fishermen and we think this is a good way for us to give back by helping clean up some of the local fisheries.”

GetBentTV’s Bell Pond cleanup is planned for Saturday, May 28. For more information, or to volunteer, email Field and Romeo at getbenttv@gmail.com.

The next episode for GetBentTV will be in two weeks, and will feature the Wachusett Reservoir. You can follow GetBent on Twitter @GetBentTV.


This article was originally published in the April 17, 2016 edition of the Sun.

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