Fulton County's new equipment keeps busy Great Sacandaga Lake event safe


    It's peak ice fishing season. Every year the Walleye Challenge on the Great Sacandaga Lake draws big crowds.

    Over the years more and more people come to these events. That requires a bigger law enforcement presence. the extra manpower comes in handy, when over 2,000 people come to a lake this size.

    Louis Stutzke, Co-Coordinator, said, "For every about 500 people that we have in one of these contests. You seem to see about 4 to 5 police officers."

    That's where the snowmobiles come in. They've been in service for almost two years now. Sheriff Richard Giardino says they help expand the reach of the state police and EnCon units already out on the lake.

    Lt. Matthew Clemons of EnCon said, "We have a few per county, we could use a lot more, and that's where the sheriff's department is a huge resource for us. When we need to do joint patrols, they're more than willing to get together with us."

    But their newest gear is their rescue discs. Giardino says these help pull trapped people out of the water in the winter and in the summer when the lake isn't a giant block of ice.

    Giardino also got these through $2,700 dollars in donations from the Sean Craig Fund and the Sacandaga Triathalon Club.

    "Without these donations we wouldn't have this equipment."

    There will be one of them in each of their snowmobiles. Giardino says he won't use his snowmobiles unless there are two out at a time.

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