Join us at our Annual Banquet on February 23, 2019 at the Warfield House, Charlemont, MA. Cocktails at 5:30, dinner 6:30, guest speaker and auction/raffle. $35 fee for dinner. RSVP required by email Deerfieldrivertu@gmail.com or call/text Kevin Parsons 413 522 5200.
We will be honoring Rich Hubbard, retiring Executive Director of the Franklin Land Trust (FLT), with the Bob Anderson Conservation Person of the Year Award.
Our guest speaker will be Will Sloan Anderson of the Franklin Land Trust who will discuss FLT’s conservation efforts and how the impact on riparian interest of TU, as well as the history of the TU/FLT relationship at Crowningshield and elsewhere.
All funds raised in this event will go to FLT toward acquiring and protecting land adjacent to the Crowningshield property in Heath, Ma. The Crowningshield project is a joint endeavor with our Chapter, the MA RI Council of Trout Unlimited, and FLT.
Come join us to celebrate our incredible year past, honor Rich Hubbard, and raise needed funds to protect critical riparian lands along this most important wild trout headwater.
Join us for some fun at the Deerfield Fly Shop and Deerfield Fly Shop Annex on Saturday, February 9, 2019 from 10 to 4. We’ll be tying flies, eating pizza pies, and telling fish stories. All are welcome. The entry fee of $20.00 gets you admission to the event, pizza and other refreshments, and a raffle ticket. This event is open to non-members as well as members. Bring your friends! There will be a wide range of fly tiers, from beginners to experts. Extra vises, tools and materials will be available, so plan to be there even if you’ve never tied a fly and have no equipment. DRWTU members are very generous about sharing their skills and introducing new tiers to the art. Think of it as making tiny sculptures for the appreciative eye of a fish! No advance registration required – just show up at the Deerfield Fly Shop. Come by at any time, and leave any time – you do not need to be present for the raffle. Besides telling amazing but true 😉 fish stories, we would happy to share information about the chapter’s conservation efforts and progress with the spawning study on the Deerfield.
Members of Deerfield River Watershed Trout Unlimited and friends spent three days identifying and recording data for redds on the Upper Deerfield in November and early December 2018. Blowout flood conditions during the month of October forced a frustrating cycle of scheduling, cancelling and rescheduling survey dates. Despite weather conditions that were less than favorable, 17 volunteers led by Erin Rodgers and Mike Hayden found 30 redds on November 17 and 18. Another 50 redds were recorded by teams led by Mike Hayden under more favorable conditions on December 1.
You helped the Deerfield River Watershed Chapter of Trout Unlimited win the Embrace a Stream Challenge! Thanks to our members and friends, DRWTU – one of the smallest of 30 TU chapters all over the country participating – raised $16,415 in donations in the Embrace a Stream Challenge from 252 donors. These funds will be used to support the expanded trout spawning survey on the Deerfield River Watershed as well as our other conservation efforts. The Chapter’s outstanding performance in the Challenge means your donations will be multiplied through matching funds and prizes by TU National and Orvis. The week-long fundraising effort is over but the work of the year-long study is just beginning. Keep watching this page for updates on the study and opportunities to help us with Phase II of our Trout Study on the Deerfield.
Missed the chance to donate during the challenge? You can still support our chapter by donating here through paypal (and you don’t even need a paypal account).
Our Chapter has been selected by TU National to receive the 2018 Gold Trout award. This prestigious award is awarded annually to the Chapter which has “taken innovative and thoughtful approaches to build and expand community and advance TU’s conservation mission”. Of the 420 Chapters, DRWTU has been recognized by TU as its top Chapter for 2018.
Inspired by the DRWTU spawning study, MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife is commencing a long-term study of the brown trout population on the Deerfield. Here’s a May 9, 2018 statement from Adam Kautza PhD, Coldwater Fisheries Project Leader: “We have completed adipose fin clipping to mark the standard annual allotment of all 1000 hatchery Brown Trout that are stocked into the upper Deerfield River. These marked fish will be going out to the river within the next two weeks. Please be aware that there are other hatchery-origin Brown Trout already in the system from past years’ stockings that have not been marked with an adipose fin clip. Physically marking the Spring 2018 Deerfield River batch of hatchery Brown Trout stands as an initial step in a larger effort to learn more about the Brown Trout population in the upper Deerfield River, both hatchery-origin and wild, stream-born fish. Marking of hatchery fish, together with other elements of the Deerfield River Brown Trout Study, will continue for several years. We would like to note that the impetus for this project has largely been through a collaborative effort including meetings and ongoing discussions among Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and Trout Unlimited (in particular, the Deerfield River Chapter and the Massachusetts-Rhode Island Council), as well as input and assistance from a number of other interested parties and individuals from UMass, USGS, local Deerfield River fishing guides, and local watershed groups.”
Please report all of your encounters with brown trout (both with the adipose fin and without) here.
Breaking News: Brookfield Power’s FERC Final License Application
Brookfield Power has filed a final license application for the Bear Swamp Pump Storage and Fife Brook Dam facilities. This application details what the history, status of the FERC relicensing process, what Brookfield has done, and what it is proposing to do with this new license. This process will continue for another couple of years. Our Chapter continues to be engaged in this process. We will continue to fight for more ideal operations to not only protect but enhance the Deerfield River wild trout population including spawning efforts. Much more to come.
Volunteers wanting to help with phase 2 of the spawning study will meet Mike Cole Saturday morning, at 8:45 on March 17 at the Zoar picnic grounds. We can use all the help we can get. Wear waders and warm clothing. Bring water and something to eat. Air temps expected in the 20’s.
Spawning Survey Donation
At the Chapter meeting on 3/15, Mike Didonna of the Deerfield Fly Shop donated $750 to DRWTU for the spawning study. The money was raised through a raffle during the third anniversary celebration of the fly shop in South Deerfield.
The DRWTU Annual Meeting and dinner was held at the Warfield House February 24. Keynote speaker, Keith Fritschie, gave a fascinating talk about wild brook trout spawning in New Hampshire.
In response to the Interim Report on the DRWTU sponsored Spawning Surveys conducted by Mike Cole, the MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife submitted comments with a New Study Request to FERC. The US Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service, citing the MA Div of Fisheries and Wildlife comments, formally requested that FERC order a comprehensive study of the biological impact of hydropeaking on fish in the Deerfield. They specified that the study be conducted across the full range of daily flows and at times when spawning of trout is likely to occur. On March 5, Brookfield Power Company sent a letter to FERC to respond to complaints raised by DRWTU about high water encountered by the TU volunteer survey team during the spawning study. Brookfield’s letter appears below. A letter from DRWTU president Kevin Parsons is included with links to all the above-mentioned correspondence here:
Based upon preliminary results published in the Spawning Survey Interim Report, DRWTU is requesting that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) conduct an expanded trout spawning survey before relicensing the operation of Fife Brook Dam. Click below to view the Letter and Interim Report.
To advocate for the long term health of the Deerfield River as a cold water fishery. The Deerfield Watershed consists of the Deerfield River and all of the feeder brooks, streams, and rivers that flow into it from Southern Vermont to the Connecticut River termination.
DRWTU member Jim Dowd donated a raft to MA Division of Fish and Wildlife. The raft was modified and enhanced through donations by other TU chapters and the MA/RI council of TU to be used for surveying fish on rivers including the Deerfield. Read about it in the attached article here: