Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoover announced the launch of the first District Attorney’s Office Youth Fishing Derby, running from April 1, 2021 through September 6, 2021. It is open to children between the ages of five and eighteen who are children or grandchildren of Orange County residents. Orange County is just north of Rockland and Putnam counties and is a 1-1/2 hour drive from New York City.
Last year, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation stocked more than 38,880 trout in Orange County waters. In addition, the Orange County Federation of Sportsmen stocked trout in waters with public fishing access. There are 86 named lakes in Orange County and hundreds more unnamed lakes and ponds that contain several species of fish of interest to the angler. Orange County also has many miles of rivers and streams to fish as well. The Hudson, Delaware, Neversink, Ramapo, and Wallkill Rivers and several small streams have public access to good fishing. If you do not own a boat, no problem. There is plenty of shore fishing in many state, county, and town parks in Orange County.
Fish, large and small, call Orange County home. There are large striped bass in the Hudson River during the spring run. Greenwood Lake has muskellunge, walleye, and bass ready to test your skills as an angler. The Wallkill River is loaded with smallmouth bass and rock bass. If you are a novice or first-time angler, Orange County lakes, ponds, and streams are heavily populated with panfish that are easy to catch. Bluegills, pumpkinseeds, yellow perch, bullheads, and crappies are found in almost all the lakes and ponds in the county. Trout fans will find good fishing in Rutgers, Moodna, or Woodbury creeks.
Fishing teaches many life lessons, such as patience and how to deal with success and failure. Participants will also learn to enjoy and respect nature and, by spending more time with family and friends, will alleviate some of the boredom and anxiety caused by the COVID-19 crisis that has led so many of our young people to turn to drug use or gang activity. Sports and other worthwhile activities can help deter young people from those bad choices.
Entry into the Youth Fishing Derby is free, and any fish entered in the Derby, big or small, has an equal chance to win a prize. Fish entered in the contest may be caught from anywhere in NY State, and both fresh and saltwater fish are eligible. To enter, email a photo of the contestant holding the fish, as well as the child’s first name and an adult contact phone number, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Each angler can enter up to three fish during the contest, to have multiple chances to win. Ten winners will be drawn at random from all entries received during the contest dates. Each angler is limited to one prize package. All photos entered in the Youth Fishing Derby become the property of the Derby.