Trout stocked in Millers River

  • Andrew (left) and Colton Newton of Royalston prepare and release a couple of the 80 or so trout that were used to stock the Millers River at Alan E. Rich Environmental Park in Athol on Saturday morning.   Greg Vine

  • About 80 fish were released by volunteers young and old, Saturday morning in the launch area at the Alan E. Rich Environmental Park in Athol. —Greg Vine

  • Children wait for their buckets of fish to be released —Greg Vine

  • Attendees at the trout stocking event Saturday morning at the Alan E. Rich Environmental Park. —Greg Vine

  • Adults and children make their way to the Millers River through the Alan E. Rich Environmental Park in Athol for a fish stocking event. —Greg Vine

For the Athol Daily News
Published: 5/13/2019 9:50:22 PM

ATHOL — The 15-year-old Millers River Fishermen’s Association continued stocking the Millers River over the weekend, releasing fish into the waterway around midday Saturday at Alan E. Rich Environmental Park, just off South Main Street. Nearly 50 adults and children took part in the annual event. In addition, a raffle was held to award new fishing poles to a pair of lucky children – one girl and one boy.

Several thousand fish are introduced into the river each spring.

The MRFA was founded in 2004 by Peter and Gail Mallet. Peter, a retired pipefitter, said he wanted to start the association and stocking program as a tribute to his son, Shon Michael Mallet, who died in car accident in 1993 at the age of 19.

“He loved fishing,” said Mallet. “It was his life.”

His efforts aren’t undertaken solely to remember his son, however. He said he also wants to encourage young anglers, and those who are just starting out.

Mallet said he still remembers how severely polluted the Millers River was when he was a youngster. “You’d literally see fish jumping out of the water and committing suicide,” he said. “I’ve lived in Athol all my life. I had a paper route. I used to go across the UTD (United Twist Drill) dam, and by the time I went across the Starrett dam I’d see three different colors of the river. The color would change depending on whatever colors the paper mills were processing.”

Gail Mallett said the Association currently has about 200 active members.

Peter Mallett said he has to apply to the state Department of Fisheries and Wildlife each year to obtain special permits allowing him to stock the river with fish at various points along the tributary. He raises many of the brook and rainbow trout that are released annually. On Saturday, about 80 fish were released at Rich Park.

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