The Berkshire County League of Sportsmen recently selected Frank Krol of Lee to receive its Sportsman of the Year Award.
He was nominated by the members of the Lee Sportsmen's Association because he is always there to open the skeet fields, fix the machines when they break down, plow the snow, mow the grass, volunteer for all of the club projects, help in the turkey shoots and help raise and release the pheasants on public property.
Since 1996, he has been an instructor in skeet and trap as well as the use of the bow for the Becoming an Outdoorswoman Program. He has brought the Royal Rangers youth organization to the club to teach them archery, BB guns and 22s.
He was instrumental in raising funds for the club's land acquisition. He has taught geo-caching and has found over 3,000 geo-caching sights of his own. He is also a valued member of the Berkshire Beagle Club and has devoted many hours helping them, even though he doesn't have a beagle anymore.
Jodi Goff of Adams was selected to receive the Outstanding Achievement Award. He was nominated by the Adams Outdoor for Youth for his many years of helping the youth of the area. He is an Eagle Scout and is still active in the Adams Boy Scout Troop 38, attending the weekly meetings and the week-long summer camp.
He is a member and director of the AOFY, and always assists with the June fishing derbies, as well as clean-up and repair of Reynolds Pond. He is an Angler Education volunteer for MassWildlife, a trustee of the Cheshire Rod and Gun Club and a valued member of the BCLS.
Richard Senecal of North Adams, who was also nominated by the AOFY, was selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. He was a longtime member and officer of the Mount Greylock Archers and was instrumental in merging them with the CR&GC to keep the archery leagues alive in North Berkshires.
He is a member and director of the CR&GC, and helps to run its adult summer and winter archery leagues as well as the winter children's league and 3D shoots. He also serves as the official "weigh master" for the CR&GC's annual ice fishing derby.
Dave Benham Sr. of Lenox was selected to receive the Sportsmen's Appreciation Award. As the founder of Dave's Sporting Goods in 1965 with a business that began in his basement, his unbridled passion for the outdoors has fostered one of the most valuable contributors to the world of hunting and fishing in the Berkshires.
He has been an active member in many clubs, organizations and youth leagues in Berkshire County for many years and has provided thousands of dollars to them. A very successful bow hunter, he was one of the first bow hunter education instructors in the state who willingly shared his knowledge to new hunters.
He is the voice for the sporting community and has provided insight necessary for assessing the needs of local sportsmen to the fish and wildlife boards. He was instrumental in representing sportsmen on gun issues in Mass., who willingly and privately transported numbers of gun enthusiasts to lobby the Statehouse.
These richly deserved awards will be presented at the Silvio O. Conte Memorial Dinner at the Cheshire Rod and Gun Club on April 16. Tickets can be obtained from any BCLS delegate.
According to MassWildlife, this season's cold and record snowfall may have caused some winter fish kills, which are the result of significant declines in oxygen levels in water bodies during a long period of ice and snow cover. Snow-covered ice blocks sunlight and greatly decreases the amount of oxygen plants and algae once produced. All aquatic life, including the fish, are consuming what little oxygen is left in the water. In these conditions, a complete winter kill could naturally occur.
Strong "rotten egg" odors are generally the first clues that a body of water is experiencing anoxia (lack of oxygen). The odor is hydrogen sulfide gas, which is a natural by-product occurring in lakes and ponds with low amounts of dissolved oxygen.
Ice fishermen are often the first to notice these conditions, and observe distressed fish gasping for air at holes in the ice or live bait dying on fishing lines. MassWildlife recently received calls from ice fishermen reporting this phenomenon on some shallow, weed-choked lakes and fisheries. Biologists routinely find low dissolved oxygen levels in these types of habitats.
To report a fish kill weekdays between 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., contact Richard Hartley at (508) 389-6330. After normal business hours or on holidays and weekends, contact the Environmental Police Radio Room at (800) 632-8075.
For more information about winter kill, go to: www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/fisheries/fish_kills.htm.
The Stockbridge Sportsmen's Club is now a 2011 Youth Turkey Hunt Sponsor. The kids can be from 12-17 years of age, and all must successfully complete the Mass. Hunters Safety Program.
The 12-14-year-old kids must apply for a youth day tag which is only good for that day. Those aged 15-17 must have FIDs and their own licenses with the regular turkey tags they obtained. The SSC will have classroom sessions on Saturday, April 16, dealing with all aspects of turkey hunting as well as a session out on the range.
For this classroom session, all mentors and hunters must be present. The class will be limited to the first 15 kids, and 15 mentors will be needed. The hunt will take place on April 23.
If you can help out, contact Mike Buffone at (413) 232-7703 or (413) 626-4552.
Incidentally, all turkey hunters must apply for a permit by Tuesday.
To reach Gene Chague: