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WOODS ‘N’ WATER: This stocking contains the gifts of spring

WOODS ‘N’ WATER: This stocking contains the gifts of spring

Mark your calendars. This coming Monday, April 8, head to Red Bridge at 5 p.m. for the annual Quinnipiac River trout stocking!

This is an event for both kids and adults, and gives them a chance to catch the excitement of stocking trout before the opening of the season.

Barring really nasty weather, this stocking is going to take place rain or shine.

The funding for this prestigious event used to come from a game dinner put on by Tom “Farmer” Barry, Pete Picone and yours truly every year. It became harder to do every year, however, so we had to drop it.

Thanks to the generosity of some good Samaritans like The L. Suzio and York Hill Trap Rock Companies, The Meriden Lions Club and Pastor Ron of the Faith Living Church of Southington, we are able to stock trout into the Quinnipiac River once again this year.

The trout stocking is a great chance to get the kids interested in fishing. They have a chance to stock at five different spots along the river. The stocking truck is able to traverse the Q-Gorge Trail, so there is no danger from traffic.

Every child accompanied by a parent or guardian gets a stocking bucket. Even some of the adults who have never fished get excited at the sight of the trout being released. I know that quite a number of them have taken up fishing after experiencing the trout stocking with their kids.

Some of the larger trout are tagged, and the tags have various donations from local merchants on them.

While many folks believe that they have to fish in the area where the larger tagged trout were stocked, nothing could be further from the truth. One year, we stocked a tagged trout by Charlie’s Rock and a couple of weeks later it was caught down in Wallingford by the Quinnipiac Street Bridge.

Once the trout are in the water, there are no boundaries making them stay where they were stocked.

Last year, I watched a couple of ladies fishing by the boat launch on Hanover Pond and they even caught a couple of trout. I have also received reports of some large trout swimming in Hanover Pond by some of the folks who like to paddle around the pond.

The first stocking spot will be at the beautiful Red Bridge, recently restored to its former beauty by the Meriden Lions Club.

The stocking truck will then proceed up the Q-Gorge Trail to Charlie’s Rock and then to the area above the Broken Down Dam known as the “Rock Pool” located at the foot of “Boy Scout Island.”

The Rock Pool is self-explanatory. Scout Island got its name because, back in the late 1940s, many South Meriden youths had overnight camping on the Island.

I can still remember them as clearly as if they had happened yesterday. Floyd Spencer was our Scout Master and that man could cook a meal over an open fire that would do any outdoor guide justice.

As youngsters, Boy Scout Island was one of our favorite fishing spots because it had a log bridge going from the highway side onto the Island and it also had a deep pool on the upper side of the island that almost always had a trout or two waiting for us to catch them.

The next stocking spot will be the rapids just above what we used to call “Second Bridge,” but was also known as the “Toboggan Bridge.”

The final stocking stop will be the area below and above what used to be “Carpenter’s Dam.” I say “used to” because the dam has now been torn down and the water and most fish can move through the area unimpeded.

As I said earlier, this stocking program into the Quinnipiac River has been going on for quite a while now and we really do appreciate the support of those who contributed to this event. Without you, it would never happen.

The tagged trout being stocked this year include three 20-inch rainbow trout, two 20-inch brook trout and two 20-inch brown trout.

Also on the stocking list are the following foot-longs: 55 rainbow, 38 brook and 73 browns.

I can think of no better way to get a child hooked on fishing than this trout stocking program on the Quinnipiac River. Fishing is a sport that can be enjoyed by parents and children. Parents are not regulated to sitting on the sidelines when fishing with their kids.

For anyone lucky enough to catch a tagged trout, call Pete Picone at 860-919-7236 to find out what you have won.

One more time: Quinnipiac River Trout Stocking this coming Monday, April 8 starting at Red Bridge at 5 p.m., rain or shine.

Catch and release

Way too many poachers (they are not sportsmen) are using “catch and release” as an excuse to break the law and fish in trout-stocked waters that are closed to fishing until the second week in April.

Last Sunday, I went to Black Pond making my rounds and there were two poachers fishing for trout. Some of the regulars were there and told them. They called the DEEP and I did too.

I was told by the DEEP the warden was the way, but by the time they got there the poachers had left.

When I questioned one of them, he said he was fishing “catch and release. Not in Black Pond! Read the Angler’s Guide. This also includes the Quinnipiac River from Red Bridge upriver to the bridge on Cheshire Street.

See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops wherever they may be serving.