Last Friday, the Berkshire County League of Sportsmen sponsored an elementary school trout stocking day at Windsor Lake in North Adams.
The participants included all of the fourth graders in North Adams, including students from the Greylock, Brayton and Cole Avenue grammar schools. MA Division of Fisheries & Wildlife Western (DFW) District Manager Andrew Madden and staff brought 500 beautiful, frisky rainbow trout to be liberated.
DFW staff netted a few trout at a time from the hatchery truck tank, placed them into five empty gallon buckets, and one or two kids ran the buckets to the lake's edge and tossed the fish out of the pails into the water.
Lofting those fish from a pail can be tricky and sometimes the fish, pail and everything went flying into the waters, as evidenced by the picture. Some also landed on the ground, but DFW staff immediately picked them up and tossed them into the water unharmed.
The kids did a great job and all 500 of the fish were released — shook up, but unharmed. Even some teachers got into the act by running the buckets of fish to waterfront and releasing them, too.
In addition to DFW personnel, there were representatives from the County League, Adams Outdoor for Youth, Cheshire Rod & Gun Club, DCR, MA Angler's Education, and others. Environmental Police Officer Terry Davis was there to ensure that no anglers caught any of the fish in front of the kids while they were stocking. After the stocking, the kids ate their lunches in the pavilion building
What a great day for the kids. What better way for them to spend a school day connecting with nature, especially following a grueling week of exams.
YOUTH TURKEY HUNT FOLLOW-UP
Here are the names of the last week's successful youth turkey hunters who were sponsored by the Lee Sportsmen's Association: Matt Fletcher, Curt Wilton III, Devon Atwell, Sam Harding, Kade Groeber and Miles Houle.
Incidentally, according to Astrid Huseby, who heads up this program for the DFW, 73 toms were checked in online statewide. That doesn't include any birds checked in at any physical check stations.
Congratulations to all the youth turkey hunters, the clubs that sponsored the programs and to the mentors.
The following waters were scheduled to be stocked with trout last week: Westfield River in Becket, Chester, Huntington, and Middlefield; Deerfield River in Buckland, Charlemont and Florida; Green River in Alford and Great Barrington, Farmington River in Otis and Sandisfield, Housatonic River in Lee (C/R) and Pittsfield (S/W), Green River in Williamstown, Hemlock Brook in Williamstown, Dry Brook and South Brook in Cheshire, Wahconah Falls Brook in Dalton, Town Brook in Lanesborough, Ashfield Pond, Greenwater Pond, Pontoosuc Lake, Laurel Lake, Lake Buel, Garfield Lake, Otis Reservoir, Richmond Pond Stockbridge Bowl and Windsor Pond.
The Berkshire Hatchery Foundation in Hartsville-New Marlborough is having a free children's fishing derby on Saturday, May 14 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at its lower pond. Children aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
The Onota Fishing Club is having a Trout Derby at the Controy Pavilion at Burbank Park on Onota Lake on Sunday, May 15, from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The entrance fee is $10 with kids 12 years and under free. There will be a 50/50 raffle, prizes for kids, and a cash prize for the biggest fish. A fish fry will follow, which is included with the paid entry, including hot dogs and hamburgers. The cost is $10 for non-entry.
On Saturday, May 14, there will be a Western Mass. Woodlands for Wildlife Walk at Haskell Farm in Peru, Mass.
You are invited to join MassWildlife's Habitat Biologist, Marianne Piché, and others for an easy field walk and discussion to highlight forestry and habitat management work done on the Haskell Farm. You will be able to hear songbirds as you tour young forests and grasslands that provide critical food and shelter for birds and other wildlife.
Mass Audubon, MA DCR's Service Forester, and Steve Hayes, consulting forester, will be on hand to share information about why certain wildlife species are declining, forest management practices that enhance wildlife habitat and new cost share programs available to help you manage your woods for wildlife.
Free and open to all, pre-registration is requested. Call (413) 625-9151 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, directions, or to register.
Tournament bass fishermen can help MassWildlife collect information on trophy bass by submitting bass creel survey forms.
Data such as how long it takes to catch a bass, average weight and the number of trophy bass landed allows biologists to track trends in individual waters. A copy of the data you submit will be sent to your e-mail address. If you prefer to report your Creel Survey in paper format, mail or fax it to the DFW Field Headquarters address on the bottom of the form.
Questions/comments: Berkwoodsandwaters@roadrunner.com. Phone: (413) 637-1818.