Fogged-in fisher makes catch a meal

Justine Cherovsky.

Larry Johnson was excited to catch the two 25½-inch trout.

He was even more thrilled to have one of them to eat after the group of six anglers was recently fogged in at Cherrington Lake in Ontario, Canada.

The group was stuck for 2½ days before the weather cleared.

“The next night, we ate fruit cocktail and peaches, whatever we could find in the pantry,” Johnson said.

Johnson lost a third walleye that was even bigger when he accidentally hit a button on his Zebco reel and released the line. Lee Lundeen, who was in the boat with him, had the net ready to scoop up the fish.

“The line went limp and he was long gone,” Johnson said. “The fish story of one that got away. He definitely got away.”

The 78-year-old Johnson was a longtime teacher and coach in the Omaha area before he retired. He was inducted into the Omaha Northwest Hall of Fame last September.

He’s been making the trip to Canada for 21 years. Others in the group this year were John Beck, the former Omaha Northwest record holder in the high jump; Doug Nodgaard, the president of Equitable Bank, Justin Beck and Alex Nodgaard.

They drove into Ear Falls, Ontario, and then were flown by their outfitter to Cherrington Lake. The group brings its own food for the five days of fishing, hence the shortage when the trip home was delayed.

That was a first.

They wouldn’t have gone hungry with plenty of fish available in the lake, but no one was too excited about fishing in the fog. Johnson said he helped pass the time by making up his own Sudoku puzzles.

Johnson was the only one who caught any lake trout. Other days they caught walleye and northern pike.

Johnson thinks that’s because he was using a silver shad lure that an old-timer recommended eight or nine years ago. It has a bit of a sparkle.

“A lot of boats use downriggers with a big steel ball,” he said. “This particular lure will get down there deep enough.”

Johnson has caught bigger fish on the trip but said he’s received lots of compliments on his nice trout. He wasn’t able to weigh them because they didn’t have that equipment in the boat.

He plans to bake the remaining fish, which is waiting in his freezer. The tasty fish lunches are the highlight of the trip for him.

“We eat a shore lunch every day,” he said. “We eat all we want.”

Wahoo girl wins two trap titles

Wahoo Neumann junior Justine Cherovsky recently won two national titles at the Grand National Youth Trapshooting Championships in Sparta, Illinois.

She scored 199 out of 200 to finish first in the ladies singles and made 97 of 100 to win the ladies handicap. Both were in the 15- to 17-year-old age group.

Cherovsky competed as part of the Oak Creek 4-H team. She also shoots for the Neumann trapshoot team.

“Justine is a highly competitive individual in her very quiet way,” Neumann coach Daniel Gruenes said. “Her leadership is a great asset to our team.”

Winning the titles was a surprise for Cherovsky, who has competed since she was 12.

“It was pretty nice,” she said. “I definitely wasn’t expecting to.”

Cherovsky likes shooting because anyone can do it. It’s much more relaxed compared to other sports she’s done in the past.

But even though there is less stress, she wants to do her best. She’d also like to someday shoot in college.

“I think it would be fun to try,” she said.

Importance of pollinators

Pollinators aren’t just crucial for gardeners and food production.

“Basically, without pollination, most wildlife species wouldn’t have the critical niches needed in their habitat for life cycles and food,” said Bruce Sprague, farm bill wildlife biologist for Pheasants Forever. “And we wouldn’t be able to enjoy food products dependent on pollinators such as honey, apples, etc. Good pollinator habitat has an abundance of diversity in species blooming throughout the year. It’s excellent for many wildlife species, especially ring-neck pheasant and bobwhite quail.”

The public is invited to a meeting about the importance of pollinators on Sept. 18 in Nebraska City.

The free event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Lewis and Clark Missouri River Visitors Center, 100 Valmont Drive.

Discussion topics will include the benefits of pollinators, pollinators in the Midwest, the importance of pollinator habitat and programs to help pollinators.

Guest speakers will be Pete Berthelsen of Pheasants Forever Inc. & Quail Forever Inc., Erin Ingram of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Ritch Nelson with U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Feedback was so good after a meeting on pollinators last year that it was decided to hold another one this fall.

“The public is beginning to understand why the push for increasing pollinator habitat is so important,” Sprague said. “People are definitely starting to take notice of the declines that we have experienced in recent years.”

For more information, contact Sprague at 402-335-7531 or visit

The event is sponsored by Pheasants Forever, Inc., the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, the Nebraska Environmental Trust and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

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