The 24th Annual Harry A. Bateman Memorial Jimmy Fund Fishing Derby will take place on Saturday, June 4, at the Frank Controy Pavilion at Onota Lake in Pittsfield from 6 a.m. to noon.

No fishing license is required because it is Free Fishing Weekend for the state of Massachusetts.

The derby's purpose is to raise money for the Jimmy Fund Dana-Farber Cancer Institute For Children. All of the proceeds will be donated to the Jimmy Fund in memory of Harry A. Bateman, a former member of Central Berkshire Bowman and I.U.E. Local 255 who was well known throughout Berkshire County and who became a victim of cancer in 1992.

Many trophies and prizes will be given out to the adult and youth winners of the fishing derby. There is even a special category for those fishing with a bow and arrow. All fish must be weighed in at noon and can be caught at Onota Lake from boat or shore. Fishing tackle is given with the trophy prizes and two prizes for heaviest trout. A sportsman award is given out to a child, which includes a tackle box with over $100 of tackle.

Fee is $10 for adults and $5 for children 14 years old and younger, including food and beverages. No alcohol is served at this event.

All children receive a free gift and they get a chance at winning a mountain bike. The carp shoot is part of the fishing derby because that was something that Harry enjoyed. Advanced tickets may be purchased at Avid Sports, Dave's Sporting Goods, Maces Marine and Onota Boat Livery.


Readers may recall that the derby organizer, Stephen Bateman, recently received the Berkshire County League of Sportsmen's Lifetime Achievement Award for organizing and running this derby. It has raised over $25,000 for the Jimmy Fund over the years.


Also next Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mass Audubon at Pleasant Valley welcomes all to its Family Fun Day, its annual day of fun and learning for people of all ages. There will be live animal demonstrations, music, guided nature walks and talks and hands-on crafts activities, displays and more. The event is free but food will be available for purchase.

There will be kids' crafts and educational exhibits by Berkshire Environmental Action Team, Housatonic Valley Association, Flying Deer, and Northern Berkshire Beekeepers Association. At 10:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. there will be a puppet show "The Twig Family in the Oak Tree," at 11:30 a.m. a family concert by George Wilson, at 1:30 p.m., "Birds of Prey" Live Raptor Show and at 3 p.m. Tom Tyning's "Turtles are Terrific!"


MassWildlife has been conserving fish and wildlife since 1866. You are invited to join them in celebrating its 150th anniversary at an open house also next Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at its Field Headquarters at 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, Mass.

There you can experience the breadth of agency programs through interactive displays, demonstrations and guided walks. This event is family-oriented and will feature live animals, guided nature walks, interactive fish and wildlife displays, crafts, and hands-on activities like archery, casting, and simulated target shooting. Gov. Charlie Baker plans to be there. Visit to see all anniversary events and information.

Lots of things going on next Saturday. Good excuse to get away from the yard work.


According to Stockbridge Sportsmen's Club spokesman Tim Minkler, 78 anglers participated in its fishing derby which was held on May 22 at Stockbridge Bowl.

It was a nice day to fish with a little bit of everything — sprinkles, clouds, sun and then it warmed up at the end to around 60 degrees.

Here are the results: Largest Trout — Colin Mackie of Becket, 3 lbs., 13 oz., 20-in. brown trout; Largest Bass — Bob Felix of North Adams, 4 lbs., 7 oz., 19 in.; Largest Pickerel — Mike Soncini, of Housatonic, 4 lbs., 14 oz., 27 in. and Largest Bullhead — Seth Slemp, 1 lb., 3 oz., 14 in. Wow! What great fish!

The Age 12 and under Winners: Largest Pickerel: first — 12-year-old Chris Jordan, Great Barrington, 1 lb., 15 oz., 20.5 in.; second - 7-year-old Mitchell Keenan, Lee, 1 lb., 16.25 in.; third — 10-year-old Collin Parker, West Stockbridge, 14 oz. 16 in., Largest Bullhead — Dylan Trumps, Lee, 15 oz., 12.5 in. and Largest Rock Bass — Collin Parker 6 oz., 8.5 in.


The following waters were stocked with trout last week: Westfield River in Huntington, Chester, Middlefield and Worthington; Littleville Lake in Huntington, Deerfield River in Buckland, Charlemont and Florida, Goose Pond and Laurel Lake.


Last weekend my wife Jan and I were camping at Indian Hollow along the East Branch of the Westfield River in Chesterfield, Mass.

The Massachusetts/Rhode Island Council of Trout Unlimited (TU) rented the camping area for the weekend and delegates from all of the TU chapters were there to conduct business and do a little flyfishing. Next to our campsite was a group of about 30 men who were part of the Project Healing Waters program. Some were war veterans who were down on their luck and some were their mentors.

I had hoped to write about this group during this Memorial Day weekend, but as you can see, there were a lot of time-sensitive articles which had to get into this week's column. I hope to write about the veterans in an upcoming column. Please remember them and their fallen comrades this weekend.

Questions/comments: Phone: (413) 637-1818.