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Mother Nature and the town of Bridgewater combined forces recently to treat dozens of youngsters to a fun day of fishing.

About 40 children, many with families in tow, shared their smiles and best angling efforts May 3 during a fun-filled session at the town's recreation center pond along Sarah Sanford Road.

When the fishing had ended, fishing-themed prizes were awarded in several categories and hot dogs and other refreshments were served at the pavilion.

Selectman Leo Null oversaw the measurements and announced the prize winners,

"These kids are having a great time," he chortled. "There is nothing like watching a child catch his first fish."

The event was hosted by the Bridgewater Recreation Commission.

Commission member Mike Dubos, an experienced hand at fishing derbies, donated many of the prizes.

"Many of these kids are very serious about fishing and have show great concentration," he remarked. "Kids have caught the stocked trout as well as bluegills, perch, bass and a very big bullhead."

The top prizes were earned by Camden Schus, 10, for catching eight fish; Chase Swanson, just 18 months of years of age, who caught the biggest fish, a brown bullhead, all while fishing from his stroller; and Conor Ross, 9, for his 14-inch trout.

"It is great to see such a strong turnout in our small town," said Catherine Vikstrom, the commission chairwoman. "and such a high level of volunteer participation."

Among those on hand to help out was New Milford Boy Scout Troop 21, led by Scoutmaster Fred Gordon.

For more photos, visit www.newmilfordspectrum.com.