Gene Chague | Berkshire Woods and Waters: Local man catches huge brown trout


On the May 21-22 weekend, Eric Kozlowski of Cheshire, his father, John, and two friends, Kevin Wojtkowski and Kyle Halverson, went on a two-day fishing trip to Lake Ontario. They had chartered a boat, Trout One Charters, and were sailing out of Mexico Bay, N.Y.

On the second day of the trip, it was an overcast morning and the lake was "calm, like a pool table," as John put it. They were trolling in about 10 feet of water using a stickbait. At around 6:10 a.m., Eric hooked into what everyone thought was a king salmon, because of the fight and all the runs it took. Twenty minutes later, as the fish got closer and could be netted, it turned out to be a monster brown trout. It weighed 22 pounds, 4 ounces, and was 32-inches long with a 25-1/2 inch girth.

It was a trout of a lifetime for Eric. Had he taken that fish during the Spring 2016 LOC Derby (Lake Ontario Derby), he would have won it hands down, as the largest brown recorded in that prestigious derby weighed 16 pounds, 2 ounces. He intends to have the fish mounted.

John charters Trout One every year. On this trip, the group caught six brown and 15 lake trout, with most of them being released.

Up until recently, Trout One Charters was owned and operated by Jim Carpenter, of Adams, who chartered on Lake Ontario for many years.

Bryan Kopala is an avid outdoorsman who has been fishing on Lake Ontario since he was 12 years old. His love of the lake inspired him to take a position as the first mate on Trout One in 1995, working alongside his mentor and friend Jim Carpenter. In 2000, he became a licensed charter captain through the United States Coast Guard. He recently bought the business from Carpenter.

Since 1995, Trout One has won several trout/salmon team tournaments, including the 2006 and 2011 Oswego County Pro-Am and the 2007, 2009 and 2013 Little Salmon River Challenge. In addition, Trout One clients have won first place in the 2012 Fall LOC Derby salmon division, third place in 2015 Fall LOC Derby salmon division, and second place in the 2007 Fall LOC Derby brown trout division.

Congratulations to the Buckshots

The Buckshots, the Lee Sportsmen's Association youth shooting team, recently brought home medals from the Baystate Games. Greer Hines placed first and Ben Haddad placed third in their respective divisions in Double Trap Shooting. In addition, both also placed third in 16 yard Singles Trap, with Hines scoring 83 and Haddad scoring 89. As a result of these wins, they have qualified for the State Games of America to be held in 2017 in Grand Rapids, Mich. Congratulations to them, their teammates Brian DuBois and Alex Kusick and Coach Karl Hines.

Paddling the Housatonic River

On July 19, from 3-6 p.m., the Housatonic Valley Association is leading a six-mile paddle trip along the Housatonic River through Lee to south Lee. Some paddling experience is preferred, as there are sections of quick water and downed trees to negotiate. Participants can reserve a canoe or register to bring their own canoe/kayak. The cost is $20/adult (nonmember) or $15/adult (member) or family rate $35 (non-member families) and $25 (member families). Preregistration is required. Call HVA at 413-394-9796 or email Program support provided by Housatonic Heritage.

Jack Silvernale

Jack Silvernale, from Millerton, N.Y., is an esteemed member of the Berkshire Beagle Club as well as a highly respected field trial judge known throughout the Northeast. Jack has judged at least 200 field trials from Michigan to Maine, as far south as Virginia and most points in between. He has acted as Field Trial Chairman at the Berkshire Beagle Club for several years. His own dogs have won many field championships.

Well, recently Jack took a terrible fall at work when scaffolding fell from underneath him, 20 feet to the ground. He was transported to Hartford hospital by Lifestar. In the fall he sustained serious injuries to his ribs, collar bone, neck and back. He went through surgery on his back and they fused bones in his neck, and put two plates and over 100 pins in his back. They had Jack up and walking (not very much) but he was happy he was able to just wash his hands.

Unfortunately, Jack does not have health insurance and won't be able to return to work for some time. A GoFundMe site has been set up for Jack's medical bills at Any help would be greatly appreciated by Jack and his family.

Questions/comments: Phone: 413-637-1818


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