Stewards

Stewards

Easterncaster | Thursday, 19 February 2015

For those not up on the board's recent activity, hats are all the rage - I wear a few - as licensed fishing guide, as casting instructor and another as a fisherman. Each of those job titles and activities is defined by obvious purposes and elements, but they also hold an often overlooked common thread, that of stewardship.

Paul has asked that I write about fishing in my neck of the woods, central New York state. My family has a long history, as do so many other families, with NY and this water resource.  It's enjoyment is the right and privilege of the residents of NY. I share it with those from the past, present as well as those in the future.

Fishermen of NY owe Lithgow Osborne a seriously big hat. He is responsible for the Public Fishing Rights (PFRs) that we enjoy, and often take for granted, in the Catskills. As the state's Conservation Commissioner back in the 1930s and 40s, he saw the writing on the wall - that the public's access to the famed trout fishing was going bye-bye, soon to be listed with the Stegosaurus if a steward did not step forward and act for the good of the people. Private fishing clubs and other landowners were purchasing and posting the streams, so in reaction Mr. Osborne  started the public-fishing-rights acquisitions. Read more about it here
 
Pictured in the drift boat full of tires collected during last year's river clean-up is guide and friend Sam (Patricia) Decker on the oars. Along with her is Jeff Skelding, executive director of FUDR. Notice, both are wearing hats!