By Susan Monteleone
TUSTEN January 28, 2003 The Fourth Annual Youth Ice Fishing Contest, sponsored by the Sullivan County Sportsmens Association, the Sullivan County Democrat and the Ten Mile River Boy Scouts was held on Saturday on Crystal Lake in the Town of Tusten.
A total of 70 youths, ranging in age from two and a half to 15, competed in the contest that began at 8 a.m. and ended at 1 p.m. at the sound of the horn. The event was at no charge to any of the participating youths and bait and extra tip ups were provided. One of the events chairpersons, Kay Danchak, was very pleased with the turnout.
We have 70 youths out on the lake today and they came [from] as far as Pine Bush, Danchak said. Today is a day for the kids to get out and have a lot of fun fishing. Some of the families out there make this a picnic day and just camp out on the ice for the event. We have 15 volunteers here today to help and all of the kids had to come with an adult. Todays event turned out really great.
Also at the event was Carl Lindsley of the New York State DEC.
Today is a real special day for all the kids, Lindsley said. The lake that they are fishing on is owned by the Boy Scouts and not open to the public except for today. It is a great effort to have such an event and it helps educate the kids in regards to fishing and it is very good for the community.
Jim Loeffel, Senior Ranger of the 10 Mile River Boy Scout Camp added, This is a truly great event and the Boy Scouts are thrilled with the event. Boy Scouts are about youth and helping them grow and what a better way to help children grow then todays fun event. Anyway we can help the kids is a real pleasure to us.
Ted Boniface of Pine Bush equipment donated the use of a four-wheeler ATV for the day.
Every youth that participated in the event was treated to juice, hot chocolate, donuts and hotdogs and a fishing goody bag to take home on behalf of the three sponsors.
The great day of ice fishing ended with a contest for the largest pickerel and perch caught during the event. The first place winner for the largest pickerel went to 12-year-old Johnathan Levy of Damascus, Pa. who landed a 4 lb. 5 oz. pickerel. The winner for the largest perch was 12-year-old J.C. Sommers of Beaverbrook, who measured in with a 13.5-inch long perch.
Each of the winners received a trophy and new fishing pole.