Tags Posts tagged with "Caleb Smith State Park Preserve"

Caleb Smith State Park Preserve

By Carole Paquette

Forty-six junior anglers caught a total of 182 fish at the Friends of Caleb Smith Preserve’s 19th annual catch-and-release Junior Fishing Tournament held on Saturday, June 10, at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve in Smithtown.

It was a clear day and the Park’s Willow Pond was active with geese, cormorants, turtles and a loud rapping woodpecker as the 46 jubilant young anglers pulled in all types of fish, examined, then released, them. A large colorful Rainbow Trout brought shouts of surprise and a winning trophy for its angler Hunter O’Brien, who had won a prize last year for catching the most fish.

Kevy Doring, 6, of Northport who was one of the morning anglers, was with his grandfather John Mikkelson. Within five minutes of the start of the tournament Kevy had caught two Panfish, one 7-1/4 inches, the other 8 inches. He eventually caught a third.

Co-chairperson Carol Tokosh said “The Junior Angler Tournament is a wonderful event to teach children how to fish and enjoy nature. It’s such a pleasure to see the smiles and reactions of a child when they catch a fish.”

Winners of the three trophies in the morning session, for those ages five to eight, were Christian McFarland, 6, of St. James, who caught 13 fish to win for Most Fish Caught; Dominick Ferrentino, 7, of St. James who won for Largest Pan Fish Caught, for his 8-3/4 inch Pan Fish; and Easton Hodge, 5, of Smithtown, won for the Largest Other Fish Caught, a 10-1/2” Trout.

Winners in the afternoon session, for those ages nine through twelve, were Arabella Siegel, 11, of Smithtown, who caught 17 fish, and won for Most Fish Caught; Ryan Liebold, 12, of Smithtown, won the award for the Largest Pan Fish Caught for his 9-3/4-inch Pan Fish; and Hunter O’Brien, 9, of Port Washington, won for the Largest Other Fish Caught, a 12-1/2 inch Rainbow Trout.

Several lotteries were held during the afternoon. Evelyn Folandro, 6, of Commack won a fishing rod and tackle box donated by the D’Agostino Family in memory of Mike D’Agostino who was one of the co-founders of the Friends of Caleb Smith Preserve, and a main contributor to the Junior Angler Fishing Tournament.

Carter LeHanka, 12, of Commack won the Fourth Annual Tom Troccodli Memorial Lottery and received a fishing rod and tackle   donated by the Troccoli family. The drawing was held in honor of the late Tom Troccoli of Smithtown who enjoyed fishing and accompanied his grandson at junior angler tournaments. Raffle donors included Camp-Site Sports Shop in Huntington Station, which donated two fishing rods, one for each session, and books about catching bluefish. Carmine Petrone, manager of the fishing department at Camp-Site Sports Shop is a familiar person at the tournament having been one of the judges during these years. Visors that looked like a turtle were also raffled off. Other donors included sponsor The Fisherman magazine which donated the worms, hooks and bobbers.

Robert McCormick from the Diversified Education Curriculum at Stony Brook University made up packets to be put in the goody bags that were given to each angler. The packets contained information about catching fish in New York and Long Island, as well as cards identifying fish that are caught in New York State. Caleb Smith State Park Preserve included information about the park and fishing. Also in the goody bags the Friends group included fun fish-related treats such as puzzles, and goldfish crackers

Tom Tokosh, co-chairperson of the tournament, said “It was a great day. Everyone caught a fish. See you next year.”


Children can win a trophy and all get a goody bag at this year's angler event. File photo from Carole Paquette

The Friends of Caleb Smith Preserve will hold its 19th annual “Catch and Release” Junior Angler Fishing Tournament at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve, 581 W. Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown on Saturday, June 10. The tournament will be divided into two groups: ages 5 through 8 from 9:45 to 11:15 a.m.; and ages 9 to 12 from 1 to 3 p.m. Trophies will be awarded in three categories at each session.Supporting sponsors for the event are The Fisherman and The Campsite Sports Shop.

Those interested in participating in the tournament must register by Saturday, June 4. Anglers under the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult. The entry fee is $15, $10 for members and includes bait, hooks and bobbers, junior angler tee shirts, refreshments, and goody bags for all participants. A limited number of fishing rods are available if required. An $8 NYS Parks parking fee will be in effect. 

For more information or to register, call 631-265-1054 Wednesday through Sunday.

Photo by Tom Caruso


Tom Caruso captured this fleeting moment on a recent trip to Caleb Smith State Park Preserve in his hometown of Smithtown. He writes, ‘It was a beautiful day. I wandered around the park and saw several deer grazing in an open field. I circled around the field to get a better look when a herd of deer came crashing out of the woods to my right and bounded across the field. I caught this deer in full flight and it was quite a sight.’

Send your Photo of the Week to [email protected]


Photo by Tom Caruso


Tom Caruso snapped this peaceful scene at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve in his hometown of Smithtown on Nov. 13. He writes, ‘I found that the storms of the past week had blown most of the leaves off the trees, but I found this colorful scene on Willow Pond and couldn’t resist it.

Send your Photo of the Week to [email protected]


Stock photo

Join the staff at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve, 581 W. Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown for a family program, Who’s Been Walking in the Snow?, on Jan. 16 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Families will become nature detectives as they unravel the clues left behind by the park’s wildlife. Follow the signs and hopefully find the creatures that made them! Dress for the weather. Masks are mandatory. $4 per person. Preregistration required by calling 265-1054.

Photo by Tom Caruso


Tom Caruso snapped this photo of a young whitetail deer in a meadow at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve in his hometown of Smithtown on Dec. 6. He writes, ‘I followed a small herd of deer for a while and was amazed by how comfortable they were with my presence. I snapped this picture of the smallest deer as it took a break from grazing to check me out. It was a great experience getting so close to them.’

Send your Photo of the Week to leisure@tbrnewspapers.com

Tom Caruso
Favorite quote: ‘Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.’ — Ansel Adams


Hometown: Smithtown

Day job: Professional Software Engineer/Development Manager, Broadridge Financial Solutions

Photographer: I developed an interest in photography at an early age, influenced by greats like Ansel Adams. My parents gave me my first 35mm camera in 1972 and my life was forever changed.

Favorite camera: The Nikon D850. I purchased it in December, 2018, and it’s an amazing camera with an incredible sensor.

Favorite lenses: I presently own two lenses for the D850. My walking around lens is an AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm 1:4 G ED and I found this to be a great workhorse giving me the flexibility I need for most shots. When I need tack-sharp images for macros or in dark settings I switch to my AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 G prime lens. Both lenses were refurbished by Nikon when I purchased them.

Favorite locations: I am fortunate to have several beautiful places near my Smithtown home and I visit them frequently to catch them at various times of day and different seasons. These places include Caleb Smith State Park Preserve, Long Beach, Short Beach, Blydenburgh County Park, The David Weld Sanctuary, Stony Brook Harbor, Stony Brook Duck Pond, Kings Park Psychiatric Center and Nissequogue River State Park.

Have you entered any photo contests? My first photo contest was the 2020 Friends of Caleb Smith State Park Preserve The Beauty of Caleb Smith State Park Preserve My image “Deer in Snowstorm” won Honorable Mention in the adult division. I also entered the 2020 Gurwin photo contest. The winners will be announced later this year.

Favorite aspect about taking photos: Landscape and nature photography gives me the opportunity to be outdoors. I love communing with nature and I am happiest when I am wandering in the woods with my camera in hand on a beautiful autumn day. Another aspect of photography I enjoy is knowing that my images bring happiness to others.

Best advice to get that perfect shot: There are a lot of photographic rules that we are told make a great photograph. I sometimes adhere to them but I shoot more on instinct. I know a great shot when I see it whether or not it follows the rules. Always keep your eyes wide open and moving when on a shoot. When in the wild with your camera you have to engage all your senses to find your next capture, not just sight. A faint sound of a crunching leaf turned out to be a snake which lead to one of the photos in this essay. The enormity of a forest can be intimidating but you have to see everything from the largest to the smallest subjects, from a mighty tree to a delicate spider web and all things in between. It is not enough to see the image for what it is but you have to visualize what it could become when post processing. If you do these things you don’t have to look for the perfect shot: it will find you. 

See more of Tom’s photos at www.tomcarusophotography.com.

Winners have been announced for the first Friends of Caleb Smith Preserve photography contest, which began on Aug. 1, 2019 and ran through January of this year. There were 37 participants in the six-month-long contest, which focused on The Beauty of Caleb Smith State Park Preserve located at 581 W. Jericho Turnpike in Smithtown. Judges included three members of the friends group and a park official.

The contest was divided into two age groups: youth and adult (ages 18 or over). There were 22 contestants in the adult division and 15 in the youth division, most of whom were from Commack High School. 

In the adult division Elizabeth Milward of Smithtown captured first place for “Reflection.” Second place was awarded to Katelynd Hill of East Meadow for “Goose Stretch” and third place went to Gerta Polgardy of Kings Park for “Barn.” Honorable mentions went to Tom Caruso of Smithtown for “Deer in Snow Storm,” and Sid Lorber of Smithtown for “A December Day at Caleb.”

Michela DiStefano of Commack High School won first place in the youth division for “Frozen Pond.” Second place was awarded to Miranda Gonzalez of Commack High School for “Emergence,” and Travis Maffei of Kings Park grabbed third place for “Ageless Beauty.” Russell Korn, of Commack High School, received an honorable mention for “Reflection.” 

“The contest was an enjoyable experience as all the beautiful photos came in, and we’re looking forward to holding it again next year,” said Friends President Chris Duffner. Cash prizes of $100 will be awarded to each of the first-place winners, $50 to the second-place winners and $25 to the third-place winners.

A reception that was to be held at the park’s museum on March 15 has been canceled.

The winning photos will be on display throughout the month of March. For more information, call 631-265-1054 or email [email protected].

Photo by Michael D’Agostino

Calling all photographers and nature lovers! The Friends of Caleb Smith Preserve is sponsoring a photography contest now through Jan. 31, 2020.

The community is asked to send in digital photographs that highlight the natural beauty of Caleb Smith State Park Preserve, 581 West Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown.

The contest will be divided into two divisions; Adult: age 18 or older (or out of high school); and Youth: ages 8 to 18 (or still in high school). There will be two first-place prizes of $100 in each division, two second-place prizes of $50 and two third-place prizes of $25. Judging will take place in February 2020.

Contestants must be able to prepare digital files according to specific guidelines, complete a paper entry form, submit the photograph files via email and pay an entry fee of $10 per photograph. Contestants must also have access to a valid email address for communication with contest officials.

A reception honoring the winners and finalists will be held at the park museum in March 2020. Winning photographs and honorable mentions will be printed and displayed.

Copies of the official contest rules, as well as entry forms, are available at the park office. For further information, please contact the park at 631-265-1054 or email the Friends of Caleb Smith at [email protected].

Visit www.friendsofcalebsmith.org for information about all activities and events.