By Jack and Kay Danchak
TUSTEN March 4, 2005 On Monday, February 21, the Federation of Sportsmens Clubs of Sullivan County, Sullivan County Democrat and the Ten Mile River Boy Scouts sponsored a Youth Ice Fishing Derby. It was held on the Boy Scouts private Crystal Lake, located in the Town of Tusten. Competitive fishing hours were 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
With 57 youngsters accompanied by adults, a total of 100 plus people were spread all over the lake. Federation members used gasoline augers and drilled holes in the 14-inch thick ice.
The Derby was held even though a winter storm watch was in effect for the day with predictions of snow followed by sleet. The early morning started with snowy and slippery roads. However, the weather forecast did not deter the children from enjoying the day of ice fishing. Throughout the day, free of charge, everyone enjoyed hot dogs, hot chocolate, coffee, juices, doughnuts, cookies, cake and chips.
Harold Barber of White Lake procided live minnows. Bill Danchak made his gas auger and extra tip-ups available for children who had none.
Prizes were donated by the Federation, Arts Gun & Tackle of Ellenville, Fur, Fin and Feather Sport Shop in Livingston Manor, WalMart of Monticello and Honesdale, Pa., Fish and Wildlife Coalition for Youth of the Hudson Valley Catskills, Monticello Trading Post (Jessie Deitchman) and Jerry Sheppard of Cochecton.
Kens Cans of White Lake donated the use of a portable toilet for the day, Pine Bush Equipment (Ted Boniface) donated the services of a snowmobile and sled, a utility vehicle (UTV) and a trail groomer for the day. Paul Furk of Cochecton donated firewood for the bonfire. Water for the hotdogs, coffee and hot chocolate was donated by Leisure Time Water and Ice of Monticello.
The winning pickerel, which was 21 1/4 inches long and weighed 2 lb. 9 oz., was caught by 12-year-old Ryan Barber of White Sulphur Springs. Ryan received a plaque, fishing pole, tackle box and an ice fishing kit.
The winning perch was 14 1/8 inches long and weighed 1 lb., 7 oz. It was caught by 8-year-old Nicolas Wyss of Narrowsburg, who also received a plaque, fishing pole, tackle box and an ice fishing kit. Nicolas was the Derby perch winner in 2002.
A fishing rod and reel was given to 9-year-old Ethan Morgan of Narrowsburg for bringing in the largest sunfish, which was 8 1/4 inches long and weighed 6 oz. Ethan was the perch winner last year.
A fishing rod and reel and an ice fishing kit were awarded to the following: Nick Shevak, an 11-year-old from Brooklyn for traveling the farthest; Matthew Moran of Jeffersonville, age 2 1/2 and 3-year-old Jared Rakowicz, from North Branch, who were the two youngest to enter the event.
All the youths received two prizes and a certificate for entering and enduring the derby.
A special thank you to: Carl Lindsley, Ten Mile River Boy Scout Rangers, Hank and Fran DAuria, Bill Danchak, Stanley Poillon, Kay and Jack Danchak, Bruce Miller, Ray Herbert and all of the Federation members who helped