The DRWTU is in the process of conducting a scientific study to document the spawning activity of trout on the Deerfield River. This is the first spawning study on the mainstem of the Deerfield. DRWTU engaged Dr. Michael Cole of Cole Ecological, Inc to coordinate the study. Volunteers from among the members of the DRWTU chapter have been trained to take part in the study and thus far have collected the data on fall spawning activity in the Deerfield. Preliminary results confirm that brown trout and rainbow trout are actively spawning on the mainstem of the Deerfield. Observations indicate that survival of eggs in the redds (spawning beds) is negatively impacted by the hydropeaking activities practiced by the power company controlling the dam at Fife Brook. DRWTU has requested that the Federal Energy Resource Commission (FERC) require a comprehensive study of the ecological impact of hydropeaking before renewing the license for operation of the dam to the power company. The DRWTU has received donations from Thomas and Thomas, the Deerfield Fly Shop, Swift River Fly Fishing, and individual chapter members in the amount of $7,854 towards the study. As a result of this funding combined with substantial hours of volunteer time on the river, DRWTU is drawing national attention to the Deerfield and the natural reproduction of her trout population. Anyone who would like to donate can do so through the link on our web page. Anyone who would like to participate can attend DRWTU chapter meetings on the third Thursday of the month or contact DRWTU though the contact link on our website.
Update: The initial spawning study was completed in the Spring of 2018 with a final report issued by Dr. Cole on 5-11-19. Since then Young-of-the-Year Brown Trout have been identified near the redds by Michael Hayden of USGS and his observations were verified through DNA testing.