About 10 different cars formed a convoy following behind a truck with a large tank. They made their way around Rockland County stopping at various rivers—Ramapo, Minisceongo, Mahwah, Pascack, etc …
At each stop, the truck driver opened a hatch on top of the tank, scooped out about 20-25 trout with his net and slid them into a bucket.
The men and children carried the bucket down to the waterways to release the trout. This past Saturday was the county’s annual Trout Stocking done by volunteers, many with Pearl River connections. Rockland County Soil & Water District funded the trout.
“The state does trout stocking twice, the county once per year,” said Tim Trimble from the county’s Division of Environmental Resources. “All of them are volunteers that represent various fishing sportsmen clubs.”
Nanuet Resident Carl Isenon, of the Pearl Gun Club has been active in trout stocking the longest.
“I enjoy doing this. There are not many people who come out anymore. I started when I was 21,” said Carl Isenon. “I’ve been doing this for 61 years … (but) I’m getting ready to give it up.”
The trout—rainbow and brown—are bought from hatcheries, usually from Pennsylvania. This batch of trout came from the Big Brown Fish Hatchery in Effort, PA.
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Each year, volunteers, young and old distribute trout to several different waterways in Rockland County to replenish the streams.
“I was a teen when I started. Other than when I was in the army for four years, I’ve been doing this every year,” said Tom Lindsell of Stony Point, who is 74 and started when he was 16 years old. “I do this because it’s the same thing I’ve done since I was a little kid. It’s something to give back to the community.”
Even generations of families have gotten involved.
“I’ve been doing this for 25 years. I used to fish a lot with Carl. We’re still fishing buddies. He’s the one that got me doing this,” said Mike Parisi. “About ten years ago, I got my son involved. We fish, we catch them and we help put them back. We don’t keep anything.”
On Saturday, Mike was joined by his son John and grandson Joseph Parisi, of Pearl River.
“I’ve been doing this for 5 or 6 years now,” said Joseph, 10. “It’s a little hard (but) it’s good for the environment.”
This past Saturday, they distributed 1200 trout to the following waterways:
- Ramapo River—Monsey Rod and Gun Club; County of Rockland
- Mahwah River—Valley Cottage Sportsmen Club
- Minisceongo Creek—Garnerville Rod and Gun Club; Minisceongo Sportsmen
- Cedar Pond Brook—Dunderberg Rod and Gun Club; Spook Rock Rod and Gun Club; Pioneer Anglers
- Crum Creek—Congers Rod and Gun Club
- Demarest Kill—County of Rockland
- Pascack Brook—Pearl River Fish and Game
- Sparkill Creek—Brookside Game Protective Association
The Parks Department thankfully recognizes the Rockland County Soil & Water District for funding this year’s fish stocking