Sunday, 16 July 2017 21:58

28th Annual Fishermen's Day celebrates Stonington's fishing heritage Featured

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STONINGTON - Each year, the town gets together for Fishermen's Day, full of fun while also thanking the men and women who work hard on the bay.

"We just want to be there to help our fellow fishermen," said Vickie Hardie, the Co-President of the Island Fishermen's Wives Association.

For the past 28 years, the Island Fishermen's Wives Association has hosted Fisherman's Day.

"It's the biggest fundraiser we do, so if they come out and support us we can support the community that has supported us," said Hardie.

On Sunday, vendors filled the Stonington Fishing Pier with clothing, accessories and of course, food.

"People from away are able to see how the island is and be able to visit different booths and experience lobster, fresh cod," said Jessica Trainor, of Deer Isle.

While the day is full of fun events, it's also a time to honor the fishing and lobster business, which forms the foundation for the island's economy.

"Oh it's everything, always has been. It's a big impact everyone depends on it in one way or another," said Richard Kent, a fisherman.

Sunday morning, the Island Fishermen's Wives Association added three men to it's Fisherman's Hall of Fame, celebrating the contributions of fishermen who are living today, as well those lost at sea.

"I really didn't think it was a big thing, but after being in this town with so many big fishermen and smart fishermen, I'm really proud to be inducted into the hall of fame," said Richard Bridges, a fisherman and Hall of Fame Inductee.

"I'm very humbled that they would pick me out of all the fishermen for this year, and you just do what you can to help," said Kent, also an inductee.

Kent and Bridges have been working as fishermen, combined, over one hundred years. They say they couldn't have done it alone.

"A fisherman needs a good wife to be behind him, because most fishermen don't do book work or cooking or all that stuff, but a good woman behind you, you're all set," Bridges said.

This tight-knit group will keep working, hoping to get younger generations involved in fishing, to ensure the survival of the industry that means the world to them.

"I love fishing and I love the fishermen in this town, every one of them are good fishermen," said Bridges.

Kayla Fish

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Kayla joined the ABC 7 & FOX 22 news team in May of 2017. She got into journalism because she loves talking with people, and she's incredibly grateful to share the stories of Mainers throughout the region.

She got her start in broadcasting way back in middle school as a member of a morning announcements TV broadcast club, and her love for the news industry took off from there.

Kayla graduated from Penn State University in 2017 with degrees in broadcast journalism and Spanish. During her time as a student at Penn State, Kayla was an executive producer and reporter for the "Centre County Report", an Emmy award-winning student-run newscast. She studied abroad in Ronda, Spain and traveled to Panama with an international reporting class. Kayla kept busy in college, spending four years working as a student manager in the dining hall.

Kayla grew up in the village of Shawnee-on-Delaware, located in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, so transitioning into life in Vacationland was a piece of cake! A self-described winter fanatic, she loves all things snow related, including hitting the slopes on her snowboard. She also likes hiking, kayaking or doing anything outdoors. She loves meeting new people so if you see her around, be sure to stop and say hi!