Alexander Boy Scout takes 2nd place in Greater Niagara's 2022 Polaris Fishing Derby
Scout Dimick was happy to add a new microlite fishing pole with a 6 to 1 ratio reel and cork grip to his outdoor gear. This is the third pole in his collection. He started his collection after earning his Fishing Merit Badge at an Iroquois Trail Council Camp Dittmer Merit Badge weekend where he caught three fish in one, a fish inside a fish, inside a fish.
This year's Polaris Fishing Derby took place at Ellicott Creek Park in Tonawanda. The event took advantage of a DEC free fishing weekend. Scouts and guests were welcome, hosted by Greater Niagara Frontier Council's Troop 824 out of Sanborn, NY. The event provided lunch, bait and had BSA Merit Badge Counselors available to answer fishing questions and assist participants.
The Polaris Fishing Derby was scheduled on a DEC free fishing weekend so parents, grandparents and siblings age 16 and older could participate with youth competitors without purchasing a fishing license. The Derby provided seven competitor prizes consisting of fishing poles, reels and a 4th edition copy of Trout Salmon Steelhead Fishing in Western New York. A non-Scout (guest) won the door prize of a brand new bicycle. First place went to a Cub from Pack 193 for a 17" Rudd.
The Trout Salmon Steelhead Fishing in WNY book was donated by a local Cheektowaga chapter of Trout Unlimited. The book is a compilation of almost thirty fishing enthusiasts, detailing several WNY waterways maps, mayfly hatchings, water depth contour maps, twenty fishing flies, and a slew of fishing and conservation information. Trout Unlimited works to maintain the health of our waterways to protect the future of WNY fishing. The organization conducts presentations and classes about fishing to groups, including Scouts.
Scout Dimick was able to identify his catch using the free annual NYS Freshwater Fishing Guide booklet that is available at many outdoor equipment sales counters, local municipalities or directly from the DEC at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishing.html. Sept. 24th & Nov.11th are the two remaining NYS DEC 2022 free fishing days.
National BSA awards require additional Scout accomplishments beyond earning specific merit badges. Participating in the Polaris Fishing Derby meets Scout Dimick's award requirement for the prestigious BSA Angler Award. The award also requires completing the Fishing, Fly Fishing and Fish & Wildlife Management Merit Badges.
Camp Dittmer will be offering the Fishing Merit Badge this summer at Merit Badge Weekends. Information can be obtained by calling the Iroquois Trail Council at (585) 343-0307. Camp Dittmer offers family camping throughout the year.