The Cheshire Rod & Gun Club banquet hall was packed for the Silvio O. Conte Awards Banquet which was held on the evening of April 19. The award winners included: John Mange of Stephentown, NY- 2013 Sportsman of the Year, Fran Majchrowski of Dalton- John Zuber Lifetime Achievement Award, Dennis Regan, Berkshire County Director of the HVA – Sportsmen’s Appreciation Award and the late Sarah (Sally) Bell, – posthumous Sportsmen’s Appreciation Award. They were nominated by the various sportsmen’s clubs which make up the BCLS. All of the recipients were selected because of their long time dedication and commitment to preserving our open spaces, preserving our clean waters or their willingness to teach future generations about the outdoors and outdoor sports. Their individual feats were highlighted in my March 16 column.
Mange’s award was in recognition of his dedication, leadership and committal to the sportsmen of Massachusetts. In his acceptance speech, John mentioned how fortunate he was to have friends and family supporting him in his efforts. Deflecting praise of himself, he complimented his fellow sportsmen for being very generous with their time. “There are a lot of dedicated sportsmen who also give a lot of their time. Someone has to do it…..all of the time” he said. (If I may add, it is the example that John sets that inspires the others). John also received citations from State Senator Benjamin Downing representing the Senate and State Rep William “Smitty” Pignatelli representing the House.
Regan’s award was in recognition of his dedication to providing leadership and assurance to provide a clean and vibrant watershed along the Housatonic River. In his acceptance speech, Regan thanked the League and commented that he had worked with it on several occasions and that he had a great deal of respect for it and all that it does.
Majchrowski’s award was in recognition of his unwavering dedication to the introduction and perpetuation of the ideals of sportsmen in Berkshire County. He mentioned that there were a lot of people/organizations who helped his school outdoor club over the years, such as the folks at the DFW, John Pickwell of Wohrles, Jeff Diefendorf from Friedman Steel, the Dalton American Legion, Wayne Walton from LP Adams, John Ferris, Chuck Landon and the many sportsmen who donated wild game for the meals.
In honoring the late Sally Bell, BCLS President Mark Jester read a very complimentary letter which was written by Tad Ames of the Berkshire Natural Resources Council. “If a Berkshire Outdoor Hall of Fame is ever created, Sally will be the unanimous choice on the first ballot”, he wrote. Fish and Wildlife Board Chairman George (Gige) Darey accepted the plaque on Sally’s behalf. Speaking on behalf of Sally and the Berkshire County sportsmen, he gave perhaps his greatest talk that this scribe has ever heard him give, one that was totally unscripted and from the heart. *****
The Berkshire Hatchery Foundation will be holding a kid’s fishing derby at the lower pond next Saturday, from 9 to 10:30 AM. Please let them know if you are coming by emailing http://www.berksfish.com/events.html and giving the number of children attending. Children under 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult. *****
The following waters were scheduled to be stocked with trout by the DFW last week: Green River in Alford, Egremont and Great Barrington; Ashfield Pond in Ashfield, Deerfield River in Buckland, Charlemont and Florida; Chickley River in Charlemont and Hawley, Cold River in Charlemont, Florida and Savoy; Westfield River in Chester, Chesterfield, Cummington, Huntington, Middlefield and Worthington; Housatonic River in Hinsdale, Dalton, Lee and Stockbridge, Hoosic River in Clarksburg, North Pond in Florida, Williams River in West Stockbridge and Great Barrington, West Brook in Lee and Great Barrington, Bennett Brook and Plunkett Lake in Hinsdale, Littleville Lake in Huntington, Beartown Brook and Greenwater Brook in Lee, Goose Pond Brook in Lee and Tyringham, Konkapot River in New Marlborough, Monterey and Sheffield, Lake Buel and Lake Garfield in Monterey, Farmington River in Otis and Sandisfield, Trout Brook in Peru, Larrywaug Brook and Stockbridge Bowl in Stockridge, and Windsor Pond in Windsor.
Questions/comments: Berkwoodsandwaters@roadrunner.com. Phone/fax: (413) 637-1818.