September 21, 2020

Upper Andro Angler’s Alliance and Oxford Hills Middle School Students to Clean Up Androscoggin River

As part of National River Cleanup, members of the Upper Andro Anglers Alliance and students from the Experiential Learning Team at Oxford Hills Middle School will clean up a section of the Androscoggin River from Newt’s Landing in West Bethel to Davis Park in Bethel on Tuesday, May 22. Students, ages 12-15, will float down the river in rafts armed with garbage bags and towing garbage scow rafts to collect debris along the riverbanks. The clean-up flotilla will launch at 9 am from Newt’s Landing and take out at Davis Park. Community members are welcome to help clean-up this and other stretches of the river. The town of Bethel will provide trash collection at Davis Park and deliver to the town’s solid waste facility.

Magic Falls Rafting Co. of West Forks, Maine will provide rafts and garbage scows. Immediately following the clean-up, lunch will be provided by the staff of Pleasant River Campground at Davis Park.

Rivers and watersheds have been used as dumps for old appliances, shopping carts and other refuse. Litter, such as foam cups, plastic bottles and food wrappers float into waterways, build up along the shoreline and stay there for years. With landfill space at a premium, recycling efforts stymied by a lack of plant capacity and toxic waste expensive to control, a grassroots effort can help maintain a constituency for preserving and protecting waterways. In 2011, 2 million pounds of trash and debris were collected and 6,000 miles of rivers and streams cleaned across the nation. In years’ past the Upper Andro yielded over a ton of debris including bed springs, tires and tire rims, a boat motor and a 1950’s record player.

The Upper Andro Anglers Alliance sponsors the local clean up. Says Clean-up Co-ordinator and UAAA director Bruce Pierce, “There’s been a long-standing effort to improve the Androscoggin’s water quality and fishery-now we need to improve the shore land zone along this wonderful river.”

National River Cleanup was founded in 1992 by America Outdoors, the largest association of America’s outfitters and guides, to assist local groups in keeping waterways clean. In 2007 American Rivers assumed administration of the river clean up. American Rivers, founded in 1973, is the nation’s leading river advocacy organization. NRC Information is published on line at www.nationalrivercleanup.org.

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2012 Maine Free Family Fishing Festival

The Upper Andro Anglers Alliance in co-operation with Trout Unlimited will host a free family fishing festival on Saturday, June 2. The festival will be held at Angevine Park on the North Road in Bethel, from 9 am to 2 pm, rain or shine. Free casting workshops and fly-tying instruction will be available throughout the day.

Local Maine guides and members of the Mollyockett Chapter of Trout Unlimited will teach the workshops. Instruction will include both spin casting and fly casting for older youth and parents. Maine’s Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs Program will supply complimentary rods and reels for use at the festival.

Families can practice newly learned casting skills in the one acre pond and are welcome to take home their catch. The pond will be stocked with trout courtesy of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Each young angler will receive a mini-tackle box complete with bobber, sinkers and hook courtesy of the Upper Andro Anglers Alliance.

Kids can learn how to tie flies with materials provided by local outfitters and fly shops. Children will be able to take home their hand-tied flies.

Families participating in the event will be eligible for door prizes from local outfitters and businesses as well as L.L. Bean and Kittery Trading Post. The Bethel Fire Dept. will host a barbecue of hotdogs and hamburgers, chips, and drinks and families are welcome to bring a pack lunch.

The weekend of June 2 & 3 is a free fishing weekend in Maine. Resident and Non-resident freshwater fishing licenses are waived each day.

The Family Fishing Festival is one many nationwide events that provide families with an opportunity to have fun on the water. The events are promoted by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (www.rbff.org). For those families wishing to stay overnight and fish or canoe the Androscoggin River on Sunday, special family packages are available for the weekend at local lodging establishments.

For information on the Family Fishing Festival, contact the Upper Andro Anglers Alliance at 207-824-3694, fish at upperandro dot com or www.upperandro.com.

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