Fishermen brave cold day on the ice
Ice fishing isn’t for the faint of heart or people with cold feet. Up at dawn, dress like an Eskimo, cut through a foot or more of ice — all to drop a line into the frigid water in hope of catching the big one. Still, last weekend’s 27th annual Fishing Derby was one of the most well attended in recent years, attracting fishermen of all ages and skills from all over the region. Washington’s Hill & Gully Riders Snowmobile Club has sponsored the derby for years and has it pretty well down pat. My personal favorite feature is the Cook Shack, which offers up burgers, hotdogs, hot drinks, and snacks (and more) all day long. Second for me is the bonfire, which was already blazing at 7 a.m! True fishermen were out on the ice, of course, dotting Washington Pond with activity from one end to the other. The winner of the prize for biggest fish overall was Charles Dunton who took a 3 pound, 11.8 ounce brook trout winning over Wendall Wentworth’s 3pound, 11.3 ounce entry. Jim Denman’s 3 pound, 5 ounce brook trout was just short of a prize but completed an attention-getting trio. Other big fish prizes went to Alicia Nelson for a 3 pound, 9.9 ounce pickerel, Leroy Harrington for a 2 pound, 4.9 ounce small mouth bass, Alicia Nelson for a 1 pound, 15.6 ounce large mouth bass, Lucas Tyler, for 9.1 ounce yellow perch and Chad Burns’ 1 pound, 4.1 ounce white perch. Winner of the door prize was Levi Esancy. Numerous raffles were drawn by youngsters coached to “don’t look, stir ‘em up, pick just one. . .” by emcee Tom Johnston. It was a great day all around. Next year, check it out. You don’t have to come early or stay all day. Just stop by to feel the fun in the air.
Ice-Out countdown under way
For the second year, Washington Lakes Watershed Association had a table at the Fishing Derby and Snow Fest inviting everyone to take a guess as to when Washington Pond will be free of ice. The association awards a $50 prize to the person who guesses the exact month and day a boat can pass unimpeded by ice from the public landing to a point at the north end of the lake. Last year’s winner, Ron Moore, joked last Saturday that he had to enter again so he could win again. Luckily lots of other guessers put their entry in the jar. Two judges monitor the lake as spring approaches, determine the time of ice-out, notify the winner and publish the result.
Thanks to the snowmobile club members for their encouragement and to volunteers Frank Braun and David Allen for staffing the table. The purpose of the contest is to raise awareness of this lake phenomenon and report the date to the Maine Parks Department and Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program who, with others, record this information. Last year, ice-out was April 8.
Legislators here to discuss revenue sharing cuts
State Sen. Christopher Johnson, D-Somerville and State Rep. Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea are invited to join the Washington Board of Selectmen and interested townspeople for a discussion about the impact of proposed cuts in the Maine Revenue Sharing Program. The select board is also inviting selectmen from other towns in District 52. The meeting is Monday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. at the Bryant Room of the Gibbs Library. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the impact that the proposed cuts would have on the municipal budgets in the towns of House District 52. Recent legislative actions suggest that revenue sharing reductions will be restored but this discussion will help understand how the program works and how it impacts local property tax assessments (mil rates). That’s something we all care about. We’ll keep you posted.
Keeping you posted, too
Last week we spoke about Goodnow’s Variety Store (at Stickney’s Corner). We notice traffic at the store, but they still have no gasoline. Feel free to stop in, inquire and offer encouragement. It would seem losing this business bodes poorly for the town.
Library benefits from Bonanza
Gibbs Library’s mid-winter book clearing drew a bargain seeking group of buyers to their Bonanza Book Sale on Saturday. Delicious baked goods and coffee were available throughout, too, making it a great place to peruse. The Bryant Room was full to the ceiling, it seems, with books of every description. Sales go to support the library’s numerous activities. Thanks to everyone who helped!
Masons do it again
Mt. Olivet Masons held a terrific SnowFest Supper to warm us up on a cold winter day and be available for survivors of a day on the lake ice-fishing. Fish chowder, corn chowder, beef stew and chili — all piping hot — was enjoyed by a full house at the lodge on Liberty Road Saturday night. These guys put on a really good meal. The next one is breakfast, Saturday, March 22.