With a drizzle in the air and hungry fish in the Winooski River, Vermont’s Governor Shumlin and Lake Champlain International (LCI) welcomed the participants of the 4th Annual LCI Governor’s Cup Tuesday morning at the Windemere Way Access Area in Colchester, VT. Joined by Secretary Deb Markowitz of the Agency of Natural Resources, Commissioner Pat Berry of the Department of Fish & Wildlife, Senator Dick Mazza, and several other valued LCI and Lake Champlain conservation supporters, Governor Shumlin and LCI highlighted the importance of Lake Champlain conservation, restoration, and youth outreach to Vermont and its economy.

A fundraiser for LCI’s Next Generation Fund, which provides opportunities for our youth to enjoy the lake and grow an appreciation for the outdoors, the LCI Governor’s Cup features teams of up to four people where the team with the total heaviest weight of fish takes home the esteemed Governor’s Cup trophy. The event raised more than $3,500 for these education and outreach efforts this year.

The big fish were hiding in spots other than at the end of anyone’s fishing lines on Tuesday morning, nevertheless Team Smuggs of Smuggler’s Notch Resort was able to reel in two fish for a total of 0.97 pounds – enough to take first place and an engraved plague on the Governor’s Cup. After catching a total of five fish, a team consisting of LCI Board Member Scott Goddard, Mark Snelling, and George Quintanta took second place with a total of 0.88 pounds. Third place went to Senator Mazza, Gerry Senesac, Nick Bartlett, and LCI Board President, Shawn Bartlett with a total of three fish weighing 0.68 pounds. Luckily, Jolley Convenience Stores kindly donated coffee, pastries, chili, and sandwiches in anticipation that no lunch-worthy fish would be netted.

Though the fish caught were small, they fought well and were as lively as LCI’s efforts to conserve and restore the safety and health of Lake Champlain’s water and fisheries. Such efforts would not be possible without the vital support of public officials, Vermont businesses and citizens, and visitors to the region. LCI sincerely thanks Governor Shumlin for his support and all of those who work towards a swimmable, drinkable, fishable Lake Champlain.

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