Sharon Space-Bamberger | Democrat
John S. Van Etten, president of the Sullivan County Conservation Club, shows his dedication to environmental issues by releasing a bucket of lively “brownies” into the shallows at White Lake.
SC Conservation Club goes ‘trout’ of its way
Story by Sharon Space-Bamberger
BETHEL May 10, 2013 On May 4, the Sullivan County Conservation Club enriched the fishing at Kauneonga and White Lakes with a donation of 374 twelve-inch brown trout. During their April meeting club members voted unanimously to fund the yearly fish stocking as part of the club’s environmental efforts. They had a little help from a friend.
Fred Wilson, first-prize crappie winner 2012 King of the Ice Competition, donated his $150 prize money to the S.C.C.C.’s fish stocking program. Club president John S. Van Etten explained, “This year, Fred and other participants at the King of the Ice Contest netted some great fish. You take fish out; you replace them.”
The club purchased the trout from the Beaverkill Fish Hatchery in Lew Beach. The brownies were so lively that club volunteers guarded the transport buckets to prevent escapees. Phil Bellows, whose mom Sherry owns the hatchery, carefully netted the fish from the tanks and put them in the waiting buckets.
Conservation club members John Van Etten, Jay Mendels, Bogdan and Ana Segaceanu, Vinnie Lo Casico, Doug Rzucidlo, Charlie Greenhouse, Steven Rothenberg, Eric Schram, and Mark and Dan Van Etten waded into White Lake and leaned over the boat dock at Kauneonga Lake as they carefully released buckets of lively brownies. Hatchery worker Mindy Storm observed, “Look they are liking their new home, that water is boiling with trout.”
Club member Steve Rothenberg, who owns a home on White Lake, isn’t worried about catching his share of trout. “Most people around the lake don’t know how to fish.” Bogdan Segarceanu countered, “At least we put something back, not just take and destroy like some people do.”
Later at the S.C.C.C. club house, members continued their conservation efforts with a workday that included the planting of nut trees pur
chased from the S.C. Cornell Cooperative Extension and an apple tree planted in memory of club member Gus Alberti. Other members groomed the club grounds and built brush piles for wild life protection. A litter-pluck along Kortright Road followed with energetic junior club members Angelina, Dominio and Gabriella Fontana working as hard as the adult members.