Connestee Falls Fishing Club - Monthly Meeting
Thursday May 20, 2021
Atagahi Pavilion – 9:00 a.m.
Call to Order – Vice President, George Goyette
- Pledge of Allegiance
- Welcome New Members & Guests – 38 total in attendance with 4 new members/guests
Report – George Goyette
- Minutes from last meeting approved
Programs and events – George Goyette
- Today’s Program – Chef John
- June Meeting will start at 9 am June 19 followed by Fish A Rama and Hot Dog lunch
Secretary’ Report – Al Byrne
- Club memberships are at 160 ytd.
- Boat Sales – we have a variety of small boats for sale. Check the website for an up-to-date list and pricing.
Sunshine Report – Marion Wolf
- 2 cards sent
Anniversary Book Promo
- Frank Wolf offered Anniversary books for sale (with prizes!)
Outreach Program – Nick Revill.
- 16 events already scheduled. Check the website for event schedules.
- New Outreach trailer being purchased.
New Lake Signage Update - George Hewertson
- The new signage is in place; just waiting for parts to complete. Should be completed by end of month.
Fishery Management Update – Rick Hybil
- Rick provided an update on recent and planned stockings. We are still waiting for the catfish to grow to 8-11”. Should be available later in the summer.
- Joe McMurray reported on water & fishing conditions.
Lunker & 1st Catch Awards – Al Byrne
- 1st Catch
- Gabe Robinson King, 3 yrs old, bluegill, Lake Atagahi
- Justin Worley, 20 ½” bass, Lake Wanteska, 4/27
- Cork Snearly, 14” yellow perch, Lake Wanteska, 5/19
Closure and any final comments/questions from the floor
- Next Club MeetingReminder June 19th
Chef John’s Fish Cooking Demonstration
Southland Fisheries delivered 17,000 small bluegill for stocking in lakes Tiaroga, Ticoa, and Wanteska (note that Atagahi was stocked with the same in June 2020).
We resume our regular meetings
The Club resumed regular monthly meetings April 15 with an eye on pandemic restrictions. The first was held outdoors at the Atagahi Park pavilion and members wore masks and maintained social distancing.
It was the first full-membership meeting since a similar one outdoors last October. The next will be May 20, when our clubhouse chef is scheduled to present tips on preparing fish caught in our lakes.
Despite a temperature that hovered in the low 50s, more than 40 members turned out. As usual, the Club served a free “coffee-and” light breakfast.
For most of the first hour members heard reports from Club officials about activities of the past few months. Then Ty Mooney, a certified fishing guide from Headwaters Outfitters, presented a program on fishing for smallmouth bass.
Boat Launching Pier at Ticoa Park
President Myron Pstrak told about the recently completed launching pier next to the boat ramp at Lake Ticoa’s park. The Club paid the cost of materials and the pier was built by our CFPOA maintenance workers.
Myron said the new pier, similar to those at ramps on our other lakes, makes it easier for boaters to launch small craft.
Fishery Management Report
Fishery Management Committee co-chairs Rick Hybil and Joe McMurray reported on current conditions on our lakes. Joe, one of our most active anglers, said fishing is accelerating as water temperatures rise into the low 60s. “The fish are biting,” he told members, “so get out there and enjoy!”
Joe said the size of bass in Lake Atagahi seem to be larger these days and he believes it is because last year’s stocking of sunfish is providing more food for the predatory bass.
Rick said the CFPOA and the Club will spend some $22,000 this year on stocking, with $7,000 being a donation from the Club and $15,000 coming from an appropriation in the Association’s annual budget. He said there has already been a stocking of 1,500 pounds of rainbow trout in January and trout fingerlings as forage fish in March. Another sunfish stocking is scheduled next, he added.
Signage project progressing
Former Club President, George Hewertson, unveiled the newest community sign board at Atagahi Park’s beachfront. It replaced an earlier sign erected last year, which was moved to Lake Tiaroga.
The project is the latest in the Club’s Community Spirit Program, in which we have donated a number of improvements throughout Connestee over the years.
This latest project calls for such signs at each of our lakes. When completed this spring, there will be signs at Lake Ticoa – one at the dam and one at Ticoa Park – and one at Lake Wanteska’s dock area and the one at Lake Tiaroga, in addition to Atagahi’s.
The prototype sign was purchased from a commercial company. Since then, George and Spencer Brown, our CFPOA maintenance supervisor, decided to design and build the others in-house. The Club is paying for all materials.
The new signs are larger than the prototype and made entirely of weather-resistant cedar. They are two-sided. Community notices, mostly having to do with fishing, will be posted on one side and a large map of the location lake will be on the other.
Membership drive begins
The annual Club membership drive has begun and we’re looking for current members to renew and newcomers to sign up for the first time. Membership settled at a little more than 200 during the pandemic last year and the Executive Committee is anticipating it will increase this year as restrictions ease up.
Annual household membership dues remain at $15. Registration is easy on the Club’s website, cffishclug.org. You can charge the dues to your CFPOA account, or send in a check to our treasurer, Vernetta Milts, at 279 Tinequa Dr., Brevard, 28712.
The current year’s membership expires April 30. New ones are valid through April 30, 2022.
Membership is open to all CFPOA members and long-term renters.
Your dues go to support the Club’s many community services, including helping to stock our lakes, our Outreach program, and special events such as our popular Fish Fry and the Fish-A-Rama for children.
The Executive Committee remains unsure what gatherings it will be able to hold during the pandemic. Many had to be cancelled last year.
It is still considering ways, if the pandemic persists, to hold special events and our summer Outreach Program gatherings. Last year the Club did hold an abbreviated Fish Fry, with drive-through serving.
Headwaters Outfitters fishing guide Ty Mooney gave a very informative talk on fishing area waters for Smallmouth bass. You can contact Ty by call Headwaters Outfitters at 814-673-3596 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Monday, 3/8, Morgan Mill Trout Farm stocked trout fingerlings in lakes Tiaroga and Wanteska. This was a $2,000 matching fund stocking with CFPOA paying $1,000 and CFFC paying $1,000.
Also on the same day Morgan Mill brought along a few large trout to start our Golden Trout contest. Joe McMurray and Randy Bunn tagged one golden trout for release in each of our four lakes.
Thanks to Nick Revill for his work on preparation of the tags with gold leaf to keep them golden bright while in the water until caught.
Rick Hybil, Fishery Management Committee
Joe McMurray tagging a Golden Trout and Randy Bunn placing in the lake.
The Fishing Club has announced a new contest open to anyone with a CFPOA fishing license. We have placed one large rainbow trout in each of our four lakes with a gold-colored bead attached on a plastic tag behind its dorsal fin. If you catch it you get a Golden Trout Award certificate and $100 in spending credits in your CFPOA account. To report a Golden Trout: Remove the tagged bead and call contest director Ray Tuers, 877-5572.
The Club’s Fishery Management Committee supervised the first stocking of the year in our four lakes Jan. 25, putting in some 1,200 rainbow trout. Most were in the 14-inch size range. As usual, they were distributed based on the size of the lake:
- Atagahi, received 509 pounds, or approximately 400 fish.
- Ticoa, 467 pounds, approximately 375 fish.
- Wanteska, 276 pounds, 220 fish.
- Tiaroga, 203 pounds, 160 fish.
The fish came from our supplier, Morgan Mill Trout Farm, located on Route 64 south of Brevard. Joining Rick Hybil, co-chair of the Committee, in observing the operation were Randy Bunn, George Hewertson, Joe McMurray and Ray Tuers.
The fish cost $2.75 per pound, for a total cost of $4,001. That was paid by the Property Owners Association from the annual stocking appropriation in its budget.
Voting has been completed, and the proposed Fishing Club budget for 2021 has been unanimously approved. Thank you to the many Club members who voted, and we greatly appreciate the comments and suggestions you submitted.
The budget can be viewed on this website under the heading "About Us".
On January 15th Fishing Club President Myron Pstrak delivered 65 free books to Connestee’s HR manager, Rocio Borghini, for distribution to all permanent CF employees. It is the Club’s way of showing our appreciation for all that our wonderful Connestee employees do to make our community so special.
Celebrate Connestee’s 50th anniversary with the Fishing Club-sponsored commemorative photo book, “Connestee Falls: Our Golden Anniversary”!
It’s a jumbo, 9”x12” hardcover volume with 112 full-color pages containing more than 600 photos by residents. Cover to cover, it tells of Connestee’s history, people, events, clubs and activities and our scenic beauty, including our flora and fauna. You’ll want to keep this coffee-table quality book in your home for viewing by family and friends.
A great holiday gift idea for all. If you order NOW, you’ll get your book(s) for only $40 each. And there’s FREE pick-up/delivery inside Connestee! Books can also be shipped to an outside address, for an additional charge of $6 each for postage.
To order go to the "Anniverary Book" heading on the Club’s website.
There’s a limited supply in the first printing and orders will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Pre-Christmas availability is planned for residents currently on-site, while supplies last.
Proceeds from book sales benefit the Fishing Club’s Outreach Program, fish stocking, and its many other community service and social activities.
Many thanks to editor Chris Wunder and all the others who helped develop this amazing publication.
A few sample pages from the book: