New State record white perch caught

New State record white perch caught

Back in July, 2016 MassWildlife reported that a new state record lake trout was caught out of Quabbin Reservoir.  Caught by Eric Kozlowski, of Cheshire, it weighed 22 lbs 4 oz.  Well, MassWildlife recently reported that another state record freshwater fish was caught.  This one, a white perch, was caught by Val Percuoco, of Leominster, MA out of  Wachusett Reservoir.  It weighed 3 lbs 8 oz, was 18 inches long and had a girth of 13.5 inches.  It broke the previous record of 3 lbs 5 oz, which was caught in 1994 by Tray Richford.  That fish also came out of Wachusett Reservoir.


Val is an avid angler and she was fishing with her father Vinny Percuoco, on Sunday, October 16.  They were fishing from the shore as there is no boating allowed on Wachusett Reservoir. While fishing with a night crawler a big fish hit.  “It was a great fight from the second I set the hook- nice bend in the rod, running drag like crazy.” she said.   Her dad didn’t net it because he didn’t want to damage the fins. He just carefully pulled it in by the line once it was close enough to the shoreline.


“I just ran to the measuring tape because we were going to measure and release for the Catch and Release Program with MassWildlife, but then we realized just how big it was. So we grabbed our scales and weighed it.”     “State Record!” said Vinny.


Val said that this once in a lifetime fish will be mounted.  Usually it is either catch & release for them or her mom and grandparent will eat what they catch.  Neither she nor her dad eat fish.


It was brought to B & A Bait and Tackle in West Boylston, MA, a shop right next to Wachusett Reservoir, was weighed and an affidavit filled out. She then brought it to the MassWildlife Field Headquarters on the next day where Todd Richards, Assistant Director of Fisheries, certified that it was a white perch and he weighed it.


Val is 28 years old and she has been fishing with her dad since she was 3.    Val and Vinny  – what a great team.  May they fish together for many more years to come.


Incidentally, in case you are wondering, anyone who may have a state record fish must bring it to a MassWildlife office for a fisheries biologist to identify and weigh.



IDPA Steel Rimfire rifle match  

The International Defense Pistol Association invites you to bring your rimfire or centerfire (9mm up to .45) pistols or revolvers to use at the upcoming match on November 5 at the Lee Sportsmen’s Association from 1:00 to 4:00 PM.  Rifles must be bagged or boxed with empty chamber indicators in place and .22LR rimfires only. You should bring 5 magazines if possible, 150 round count (No magnum loads).  These are safe shoots with a safety officer standing next to the shooter.  Shooting will take place under the canopy, so rain is no problem.  Cost is $7 and Cold Range Rules apply.  There will be a safety briefing at 12:45PM.  Contact Shawn Sullivan for questions


PCB Cleanup

It seems like some progress is finally being made on the removal of PCB’s from the Housatonic River.  As you are probably aware, the EPA has recently announced its plan to clean up the “rest of the river”. And it is anticipated that GE will appeal the decision.  What’s new there?   Berkshire Eagle reporter Clarence Fanto has been on this story for years and has been doing a great job of keeping us informed.


You may recall that the EPA and GE finally came up with a consent decree in the year 2,000.  Not bad, it only took 20 or so years to get that far.  After 16 more years of wrangling, and with the input of agencies such as the Massachusetts DEP and F&W, CT DEEP, and others, the EPA came up with a plan to address the PCB’s.  Basically, it would remove them from the hot spots in the river and flood plains from Pittsfield to Woods Pond in Lenox Dale and move them out of state to a licensed landfill.   (See Fanto’s October 25, 2016 Berkshire Eagle entitled” EPA’s cleanup plan is final” for more details of the plan.)  So after all these years, it turns out that the shovel and wheel barrel technology prevailed.


It does more dredging than I like to see and not enough for those who advocated for a more thorough clean-up.  And GE will undoubtedly appeal it.  But it seems to be the most reasonable plan, one that doesn’t destroy the river but removes a good chunk of the PCBs.  It is a plan that appears to be acceptable to fisheries and wildlife biologists and area sportsmen.  The Berkshire County League of Sportsmen has always advocated for an environmentally sensitive cleanup.  Good luck if you think you will get rid of all the PCBs there or anywhere in the world.


So will the cleanup begin tomorrow?  Hah!  It will probably take 5 years before all of GE’s appeals have been resolved.  Who knows, maybe the EPA’s plan will be scrapped.  Let’s hope the EPA hangs tough and will not allow the PCB’s to be placed in dumps anywhere here in the Berkshires.  Even if GE agreed to the plan and started cleanup tomorrow, it is projected to take 13 years to complete.


Some years ago while discussing the proposed cleanup with my neighbor; I said that we would probably never see that cleanup (and accompanying environmental damage) in our lifetimes.  His reply was, “I hope I never do”.  He may get his wish.


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