CALEDONIA – On Saturday, June 3, Caledonia will host its first Trout Festival.
The event will take place in front of the fire hall, 3095 Main St., which is near the giant mural of trout painted last summer as part of LivCo Walls.
Nick Sims, a Caledonia resident, is helping to organize the event. He said the mural of the trout that was painted on the wall of the Cozy Kitchen on Main Street provided inspiration for the new festival.
“We are going to start at 10 a.m. with a fisherman’s flea market. With antique fishing lures, fly fishing equipment, various fishing vendors with be at the event and then at noon is when catch and release for kids under 15 years old,” said Sims.
The catch-and-release will be at Spring Creek which is off of Pioneer Road. The event is free and anyone from Rochester, Caledonia, Mount Morris or beyond is welcome to attend.
“It is for people to have fun. It is to get the community together and promote recreation on our local waterways. If that is fishing, kayaking or canoeing or any other activity, we are hoping it will help educated people about the cool resources that we have in our Caledonia-Mumford community,” said Sims.
Caledonia is home to the oldest fish hatchery in New York State and the Western Hemisphere. It was established in 1864 by Seth Green, who was known for creating a sustainable managed network of creeks and rivers that would give people access to healthy, local foods. His innovative techniques for fish propagation put Western New York on the map and remains an influential model for fish farming globally.
Today, the hatchery is run by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the hatchery rears brown trout and rainbow trout. Annual production is about 170,000 pounds.
The Livingston County Department of Economic Development hopes the trout festival will help educate people about trout and also add a boost to the local economy.
“In addition, to live music, food vendors, and kids’ activities, there will be new educational exhibits in angling and aquaculture including a vintage and classic fishing market. This festival will continue to build on tourism in the region, including increased awareness of the area’s unique natural resources and history, establishing new linkages in the fishing community, and bringing new visitors to the region,” said Kelly Burns, the county’s director of tourism.
The festival is also an event that Sims said he hopes will get people both young and old hooked on trout and the sport of fishing.
“I think it is important to get kids outside, get involved in the great outdoors and get away from the television screen,” he said. “We have a lot of cool events planned and we are really excited.”