Gene Chague | Berkshire Woods and Waters: Despite the rainy weather, kids enjoy the fishing derby at Wild Acres

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Over 100 anglers attended the 5th annual fishing derby at Wild Acres. The Berkshire Eagle's Phil Demers did a nice article on it in last Sunday's paper. I was there too, and here are a few more observations. Twenty five trophies were awarded for those who caught trout.

The kids and parents worked up a powerful appetite and fortunately there was plenty of food. It was sad not seeing the late Chris Porter flipping the burgers this year. You may recall that he passed away in the woods last fall while deer hunting. But Al Lucier, proprietor of Ozzie's Steak & Egg Restaurant in Hinsdale, catered it and did an excellent job of providing tasty food with little or no wait in line.

Jessica Porter was there fishing with her daughter and son, Chalyce and Chase. She is the daughter of the late Chris (Paula) Porter and granddaughter of the late Joe (Doris) Areno. (Both were past recipients of the Berkshire County League of Sportsmen Sportsman of the Year Award.) I mention this only because it was so nice to see Jessica carry the family tradition of fishing on to the fourth generation. Chris and Joe would be very pleased.

A lot of nice brook trout were caught this year. Congratulations to Rob Houghlin and Casey Kendall for each catching 13-inch trout. Myron Proper of Cheshire, with help from a lot of kids (mostly his grandchildren), had a great day. At last count, they had a stringer of nineteen bullhead. The timing for this catch couldn't have been better. There is an old adage that bullhead taste the best if caught when the apple blossoms are out. And they were that day.

In spite of the periodic rain, this was such a nice day. It couldn't have been better for making fresh, gooey mud. And many kids didn't miss the opportunity to slosh around in it. It made their whole day. That, and handling the worms.

There were so many people/organizations that made this such a great event, and at the risk of missing someone, here are some: Lyons Aviation provided the brook trout which came from the Berkshire Hatchery in Hartsville-New Marlborough. The Pittsfield Conservation Commission provided the food (burgers and dogs) catered by Ozzie's, the Onota Fishing Club ran the event and had ample staff present to untangle fishing lines, offer advice, etc. Onota Fishing Club President Edward Blake and Fred Ostrander headed up that group with the help of others, including another County League award recipient Clem Caryofiles. Dave's Sporting Goods and Maces Marine generously provided the equipment and bait. Thanks to you all.

Please know that you folks were responsible for a lot of happy, smiling faces and fond memories.

Another fishing derby

While on the subject of fishing derbies, the Stockbridge Sportsmen's Club will be sponsoring its spring fishing derby at the boat ramp on Stockbridge Bowl on Sunday, May 22, from dawn until 3 p.m. They have some serious prizes, with $100 prizes for the heaviest trout or salmon, pickerel, bass and bullhead. All kids will receive a free lure. Pre-registration costs $10 and post registration is $15. There will be food for purchase and a good raffle. Tickets are available at the Minkler Insurance Agency in Stockbridge, by calling (413) 644-3590 or (413) 298-4630, or from any club member.

Correction

In last week's article, I erroneously listed one of the schools that participated in the trout stocking at Windsor Lake in North Adams as Cole Avenue Grammar. It should have been listed as Colegrove Park Elementary School. My apologies.

Trout stocking

The following waters were scheduled for trout stocking last week: Westfield River in Chesterfield, Cummington, Windsor, and Savoy, Clesson Brook in Ashfield and Buckland,

Potash Brook in Russell and Blandford; Hop Brook in Tyringham and Lee, Upper Highland Lake in Goshen, Hubbard River in Granville, Norwich Pond in Huntington, Onota Lake, Plunkett Reservoir, York Lake and Big Pond.

Land Acquisition

In his May report to the BCLS, Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) Western District Manager Andrew Madden reported that they recently completed a project in cooperation with Berkshire Natural Resources Council (BNRC) to expand conservation holdings in the area of Dalton/Pittsfield known as the Boulders. Much of the property was previously owned by Crane and Company with an easement for public access held by DFW. Through the creativity of Western District Land Agent Peter Milanesi and Narain Schroeder of BNRC, they expanded the amount of land under the Conservation Easement, gained a section of land owned in fee, improved access, and ensured that the property is held by a local conservation partner. Basically, they added three more parcels through conservation easement and purchased a piece. The expanded area amounts to an additional 80 acres. According to Madden, it will make the Boulders a better place for public and hunter use.

For questions or comments, contact Gene Chague at berkwoodsandwaters@roadrunner.com or call (413) 637-1818.


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