“The fishing is good, but the catching … not so much” was a common phrase at the 6th Annual LCI Governor’s Cup on Tuesday, May 28 in Colchester. But, with the sun shining and the shared mission of clean water and healthy fish in everyone’s thoughts, optimism was high at the Lake Champlain International (LCI) annual fundraising and awareness event.
Keeping in mind that Lake Champlain is responsible for generating hundreds of millions of dollars for our local economy and provides drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people, many Vermonters and New Yorkers understand the importance of ensuring that the lake is healthy and clean. The businesses and community leaders participating in and supporting the LCI Governor’s Cup, including Senator Bernie Sanders and Governor Peter Shumlin, agree that protecting our waters is a priority.
“Protecting the lake takes all of us. All the businesses and community leaders here understand that, and they’re here to support the message that it’s going to take all of us to make sure that the lake is swimmable, drinkable, and fishable,” said Ross Saxton, LCI Conservation & Education Director.
High water from the weekend’s rain made fishing challenging in the Winooski River. However, within the final seconds of fishing, Johnny Stanley pulled in the event’s lone fish–a 0.22 pound rock bass. Johnny’s fish won the LCI Governor’s Cup for him and Team Myers of Myers Container Service Corp.
Recognizing that our younger generations will soon carry the torch to protect our waters, Governor Shumlin spoke to how LCI and its partners are “ensuring that we’re doing everything we can to clean up the lake, to clean up our waterways.” Also understanding the value of fishing to our communities, Governor Shumlin added that the Let’s Go Fishing Program which LCI runs is “getting kids like Johnny and others involved with fishing” and the program has “never been better.”
Supporting the mission of a swimmable, fishable, drinkable Lake Champlain through the 6th Annual LCI Governor’s Cup included Smuggler’s Notch Resort, Buck’s Supply & Distribution, Myers Container Service Corp., Villanti & Sons Printers, Harrison Concrete, Governor Shumlin, Senator Sanders, Senator Mazza of Colchester, Commissioner Patrick Berry of the Department of Fish & Wildlife, the Miss Vermont Scholarship Organization, and many individuals.
“Let me thank everyone at LCI,” said Senator Bernie Sanders. “What they’re doing is not only promoting fishing and the outdoor way of life which is so important in this state, but they’re also focusing on the quality of our waters. Everybody here knows you’re not going to catch decent fish unless our lake, rivers, and streams are in good condition.”
Lake Champlain International is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization actively involved in shaping the future of Lake Champlain’s water quality and fisheries. Its mission is the conservation, restoration, and revitalization of Lake Champlain and its watershed. LCI educates, advocates, and motivates to ensure that Lake Champlain is swimmable, drinkable, and fishable. More information about LCI and Lake Champlain can be found at www.mychamplain.net.
Image courtesy Lake Champlain International