Union County News

Fishing Derby Begins at Echo Lake

Go Fish! Isabella and Taylor St. Hill of Mountainside check into the Fishing Derby with Colleen Parliman, vice president of NBFCC. Also helping with registration is Hannah Lopez of Kenilworth. Credits: Linda Condrillo
Credits: Linda Condrillo
Credits: Linda Condrillo
Credits: Linda Condrillo
Justin Murphy of Toms River shows off his catch, weighing just over one pound and measuring 14 inches. Credits: Linda Condrillo
Credits: Linda Condrillo
Members of NB&FCC (l to r) seated: Mike Underwood, Marty Weitzman, Glenn Rosivack, Tyler Parliman; seated: Jerry Goncalves, Terry Ehert, Gene Herre, Colleen Parliman, Charlie Huff and Bob Jones.
(L to R) Corresponding Secretary Rich McDonald of Nutley, and volunteer Charlie Huff of the Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club await the anglers and their catches. Credits: Linda Condrillo
Club Officer Terry Ehret of Morristown is a longtime member of the Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club. Credits: Linda Condrillo
What a catch! Rob Schiano of Mountainside with daughter Sophia and her fist fish caught at Echo Lake Park in the Borough. Credits: Linda Condrillo
Added Attraction: (L to R) Bob Abbott, Jr. with his father Bob Abbott, Sr., both of Kenilworth, rode to the Fishing Derby in their 1915 Ford Model T. Credits: Linda Condrillo

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ - Colleen Parliman, vice president of the Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club (NBFCC), along with about a dozen volunteers of New Jersey's oldest fishing club, welcomed children of all ages to the annual fishing derby at Echo Lake Park on Saturday. The derby runs for three weeks and ends on May 6, with awards  presented to the winners in June. 

Parliman is the daughter of the late Fred Bercaw, past president of the club. She expected between 250 and 300 registrants before the end of the day, noting that about 150 boys and girls from the area were signed up for the derby well before noon. Many she said, were from Mountainside and Westfield. 

Before the start of the derby, about 300 trout from the Musky Hatchery were tagged and released into lower Echo Lake.  According to current NBFCC president Bob Jones, approximately 125 trout measure 15 to 23 inches in length.

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To help raise funds to pay for larger as well as additional trout, the club offers a “Sponsor a Trout” program.” Jones noted that sponsors can include individuals as well as corporations. He said, “This year, Ponzio's Landscaping of Scotch Plains sponsored three 23-inch trout in memory of a beloved relative, Matthew Ponzio, who enjoyed fishing at Echo Lake Park.”

Last Saturday’s opening day for trout season delighted anglers of all ages, as earlier in the month, The Division of Fish and Wildlife stocked Echo Lake with rainbow trout from the Pequest Trout Hatchery. 

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