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Massena Recreation Department holding Youth Fishing Day on May 17

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MASSENA - Young anglers will be manning the shoreline May 17 at the New York Power Authority’s Hawkins Point Visitor’s Center, trying to land the biggest fish of the day during the 15th annual Ted Kot Youth Fishing Day sponsored by the Massena Recreation Commission.

The event, which is named in honor of the long-time member of the Massena Joint Recreation Commission, runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine. Registration and check-in will be held from 9:30 to 10 a.m..

“We cut if off when fishing starts out at 10,” Recreation Director Richard A. Boprey said.

Participants can also pre-register by calling the Recreation Department at 769-3161.

“We’ve had calls coming in,” Mr. Boprey said.

Participants must be registered to qualify for an award, which will be handed out at 1:15 p.m. Awards will be given to the first, second and third heaviest, live, in-season fish for ages 4 to 9 and 10 to 15. Participants will also be entered into a drawing for door prizes throughout the day, and each youth participant will receive a free hot dog and soda. Adults can also participate with their children thanks to a Free Fishing Day authorized by the Department of Environmental Conservation.

“We’re all set for our Free Fishing Day,” Mr. Boprey said.

He said different organizations support the tournament, including Massena Savings and Loan, Amvets Post 4, the Massena Rod and Gun Club and SeaComm Federal Credit Union.

The event is always held around mid-May. It originally started at the Wilson Hill causeway and boat launch area, but was moved to Hawkins Point a couple of years ago.

“When I first came it was out at the Wilson Hill causeway. That had always been used and it was much pretty much fished out. It was an area that needed a change,” he said.

Thus began the relationship with the New York Power Authority to use their site.

“We have a great relationship with the people out at NYPA to use Hawkins Point. That’s been a great move for us. NYPA has done a great job of accommodating us, and they’ll do anything to help us out for the day. I think they’re very, very supportive,” Mr. Boprey said.

“It’s also another way of attracting people to the Visitor’s Center. People don’t realize how nice the Visitor’s Center is out there,” he said.

The event is a catch-and-release program, and worms are the only allowable bait. Participants must bring their own fishing rod and bait, and fishing is from the shoreline only.

Ninety participants took part in last year’s event. The catch of the day went to Jestin Simpson, who reeled in a 4 pound, 11 ounce fish. Also bringing in a fish for weigh-in were Jacob Leabo, whose catch weighed 3 pounds, 15 ounces; Addalynn Perrin, whose catch weighed 1 pound, 12 ounces; and Seth Gilbert, whose catch weighed 1 pound, 9 ounces.

The top finishers among 72 participants in 2012 were Wade Smith, competing in the 5-9 age group, who hauled in a 15 pound, 13 ounce carp; while Dakota Wilson, fishing in the 10-15 age group, won a battle against a 10 pound, 13 ounce drum fish.

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