Fishing derby and Riverfest held in Hollis

HOLLIS – Each year the Lone Pine Hunters Club in Hollis holds a free fishing derby for children between the ages of 5 and 12. Last year, the fledgling Hollis Brookline Crew club held its first annual Riverfest at Lone Pine, where they practice, so it seemed like a good idea to combine the two events this year.

The derby ran from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, June 4, followed by Riverfest in the afternoon, and by all accounts, the day was a success.

“There are lots of people here and more kids who came to fish, more than we have ever had,” said Rich Moraros, a member Lone Pine who helped the children weigh their catch. “Last year we had eight or nine kids, today we had 18 or 19.”

Moraros said the section of the Nashua River that was used for the event is home to sunfish, bass and yellow perch.

“This is great, since we just moved here,” said Ed Emmons, who grew up in the area but has been living in New Jersey.

His children said they had fun fishing in the derby. Four-year-old Lindsey caught seven fish and her brother Cayden, 8, caught four.

Prizes were awarded in numerous categories, ranging from biggest fish to smallest fish, most caught and for the youngest participant. Children received fishing poles, nets, and other prizes for their efforts and then enjoyed hot dogs and snacks at the picnic tables near the shore.

Hollis Brookline Crew was formed two years ago by Nick Sengstaken when another crew club was about to be discontinued due to low membership.

“It was my first day freshman year and I held a meeting,” he said. “Thirty people showed up and 16 joined. We have grown since then and are now at 60 members.”

Visitors to Riverfest had the opportunity to help row one of the sculls down the Nashua River. Coach Eric Horton, who is also the SAU41 business administrator, paired guest rowers with experienced team members and carefully explained what to do.

For those who wanted less exertion, powerboat rides were available.

Back on shore there was live music, raffles and food, including burritos from Moe’s Southwest Grill in Nashua and ice cream provided by Connolly Brothers of Temple. Members of the Hollis Brookline High School First Robotics team 1073 were also on hand to demonstrate their robots.

“I love Riverfest,” said freshman Jack Hattamer. “It’s fun to see parents and new people get an appreciation for rowing.”

The crew club may still be relatively young, but it has garnered a lot of community support and enthusiasm, and next year’s celebration is sure to be even bigger and better.