Officials say the only fish swimming in the Blue Mountain Reservoir in the village of Saugerties are trout. Others say that some blue gills, perch, and maybe a few bass have found their way into the source of drinking water for the village and much of the town.
On June 3, youngsters from the village and town will find out for sure when they throw their bait or lure into the reservoir in the village’s first Fishing Derby.
Several months ago, water superintendent Michael Hopf proposed opening the reservoir for a community fishing derby. Up until this time, no one has legally been able to fish in the reservoir, although locals have been known to sneak through the fence to drown a worm or two in an attempt to catch one of the rumored large-mouth bass that lurk in its depths.
At Monday night’s Village Board meeting, board members gave their blessing.
Bill Schirmer, president of the Saugerties Fish and Game Club, which is working with Hopf to run the derby, said that any fish that are in the reservoir should be pretty big since no one has been allowed to fish it.
“We’ll run the event and many of our members will help chaperone it,” Schirmer told board members.
The derby is only for fisherman 15 and under. That’s because DEC regulations require fisherman over that age to have a license, and club members thought it would be best if they could run the event without having to check everyone’s paperwork.
Registration for the derby will begin at 8 a.m. with fishing running from 9 a.m. until noon. Prizes will be given out in a number of categories including biggest fish, smallest fish, and most fish caught.
During the judging, the fish and game club will provide food for the participants.
A parent or guardian must accompany any youngster registering for the event.
Fish and Game Club members are looking for local businesses to get involved and donate prizes for the derby. Businesses that would like to help out can contact Schirmer at 246-3263 or e-mail him at wmschirmer.gmail.com