Supervisor questions stocking fish and game ponds

Mason Phinney brings his catch to be weighed at E’town’s trout fishing derby 2012.

Mason Phinney brings his catch to be weighed at E’town’s trout fishing derby 2012.

— While youth fishing derbies are popular local events each spring, one Essex County supervisor would like to see the practice of stocking trout prior to the tournaments from the Essex County Fish Hatchery stopped.

During a meeting of the economic development, planning and publicity committee Feb. 11, Willsboro’s Ed Hatch said in lieu of the expected decrease in state stocking coupled with the expense involved in stocking before the kids fishing derbies, the county fish hatchery in Crown Point should no longer stock the ponds.

“I can’t see how it can be a good thing to put these fish into a pond,” Hatch said. “They should be put into the streams and not into these ponds. It's a waste of time and money.”

Hatch said that in his town, he estimated a $3,800 cost for stocking the pond used by the Willsboro Fish and Game Club for its annual spring derby.

He also questioned if all of the fish that were being stocked in the ponds were being caught by youth.

“I am told by most of the fish and game clubs that these are their biggest events with tons of kids showing up,” hatchery manager Steve LaMere said. “If they came to me and said that they needed us to cut down the amount of fish we were stocking by 50 percent, we would do that. So far, no one has. We make sure that they have plenty.”

Several supervisors spoke out in opposition of ending the stocking before tournaments.

“I think that it is a great opportunity to bring young kids into fishing,” Keene Supervisor Bill Ferebee said. “It's a good program and I think that it should continue. They do a great job.”

“We welcome any more fish that you can give us,” Chesterfield Supervisor Gerald Morrow said.

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