By Rob Potter
SULLIVAN COUNTY April 19, 2002 For the past 16 years, the Sullivan County Conservation Club has crowned a King of the Open Water each spring following an all-night fishing contest at one of the countys great fishing spots.
But there will be no King of the Open Water crowned this year.
Earlier this week, Sullivan County Conservation Club members made the difficult decision to cancel the 2002 event, which had been scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19 on Swinging Bridge Reservior in Mongaup Valley.
Over the years, the event along with the King of the Ice contest held each February has served as a vital fund-raiser for the Sullivan County Conservation Club. The money raised by the King of the Ice and King of the Open Water contests helped the club members complete other conservation projects throughout the year.
The decision not to hold the event next month was due to the lack of making a profit.
Each year the cost of running the event keeps going up, but the attendance keeps going down, said Vinnie LoCascio, Treasurer of the Sullivan County Conservation Club.
LoCascio noted that despite the cancellation of the King of the Open Water event, the club, which has about 75 members, will continue to remain active. For example, club members will be stocking trout next month and cleaning up streams and roadsides in the county during the summer months.
Were not saying the King of the Open Water is dead forever, LoCascio said. Its just dead for 2002.
He added that the club fully intends to hold a King of the Ice fishing contest in February 2003.