We are very excited to be able to share the final report of the Second Deerfield River Trout Spawning Study. The pdf is available to read or download here. The report authored by Erin Rodgers, PhD, with contributions from Mike Hayden, was submitted to TU National on July 13 as part of the final Embrace a Stream grant report. Thanks to the efforts of our members and the friends of DRWTU who participated in this study, we have been able to demonstrate that brown trout spawning on the mainstem of the Deerfield is not an anomaly. The Deerfield River is a wild trout fishery!
TU National supports new legislation coming out of congress called Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) and you can too. Read all about it here. Then, contact your congressional representative and urge them to vote for this bill.
The Second Annual Jim Gariepy Memorial Fly Fishing Tournament and Single Fly Event saw beautiful weather, fantastic hatches, and many happy anglers. Good food and good company were in abundance.
Senior Single Fly Champ: Roger Blair
- Jim Gariepy Tournament First Place: Eddie Esposito
- Jim Gariepy Tournament Second Place: Brian Miner
- Senior Single Fly Champ: Roger Blair
- Single Fly Champ: Eric Halloran
- Junior Single Fly Champ: Jacob Gilbert
- Single Fly Winning Team: Roger Blair and Zack Turner
- Pepe Award (largest Trout): Eddie Esposito
Thanks to our generous sponsors:
- Berkshire Brewing Company
- Deerfield Fly Shop
- Overwatch Outpost
- Concord Outfitters
- Swift River Fly Fishing
- Hilltown Anglers
- Shelburne Falls Coffee Roasters
- High Hook Wines
- Pheasant Tail Tours
- Walking Cloud Farm
- Fish Tale Fabricators
- Jack Shea
- Larry Poirier
- Sean Breshahan
Thanks to our Team of Volunteers
- Randy Prostak
- Bill Obear
- Horace Taft
- Kevin Kaminsky
- Jim Krupa
- Sheila Kelliher
- Sean Bresnahan
- Larry Poirier
- Jack Shea
Read all about it here: https://www.mass.gov/news/brown-trout-study-continues-on-the-upper-deerfield-river
Wild Brown Trout Want YOU to report your catch – any trout in the section of the Deerfield below Fife Brook Dam and above Shelburne Falls (#4 Dam). Click —>Here<—- to report
Update April 25: MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and US Fisheries and Wildlife Service both cited the DRWTU Trout Spawning Studies in comments filed with Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MADEP) (See links below).
DRWTU Attorney Chris Myhrum has filed two official documents on our behalf intended to impact the relicensing of Fife Brook Dam and the Bear Swamp Project.
What we are asking for in the FERC arena:
- Increase winter minimum flows in winter to 350 cfs to keep redds adequately covered
- Ramping up and ramping down to protect young of year fish
- Earlier in day recreation releases to provide for cold water relief during hot days
- Reducing disparate hydropeaking events
In the MA DEP arena we are advocating for all the same stuff as the FERC venue, but we are also asking MA DEP order Brookfield to conduct an Instream Flow Assessment (IFIM) study now, as well as at the time the Great River license comes up for renewal so we can assess hydropeaking impacts on spawning and young of year fish, and other river ecological damage resulting from Brookfield operations. This IFIM has already been requested in the FERC process multiples times by our agency partners. Brookfield has offered to conduct a 7 mile stretch survey, however, we want the entire 17 mile stretch done.
Board Members Chris Jackson, Sheila and Eric Halloran attended a meeting at the invitation of the Connecticut Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited in Wilmington VT last month. The meeting previewed a more formal presentation of the plan for the US Forestry Service conservation project on a section of the Green Mountain National Forest that includes the headwaters of the Deerfield River in Southern Vermont. TU Biologist Dr. Erin Rodgers also presented at the preview meeting. At the end of the meeting the local TU chapter put out a call for volunteers to get involved in conservation activities and citizen science projects in support of the Forest Services project. We expressed interest in helping out on behalf of the DRWTU Chapter.
We presented our summary of the Proposed plan at the DRWTU Chapter meeting on March 21. Timelines were tentative at that point but now the timelines are set, the public notice has been issued, and the public comment period is open. Follow the link below to see the public notice in the Rutland Herald.
This letter(<—- Click Here) from the Forest Service announces an Open House to be held at the Manchester Community Library on April 11 from 4:30 to 7:30. It also provides details on several options to comment open the plan. Please Note: Only entities that comment on the plan have the option of submitting an objection in response to the final draft of the proposal which is projected to be at the end of the calendar year..
Here’s a link to the US Forestry Service’s slideshow about the project:
As co-chair of the DRWTU Conservation Committee, Kevin Parsons has submitted a letter along with the interim report from the second year’s spawning study on the Deerfield River to the Federal Energy Resource Commission. Click Here to see Parsons Letter.
Bob Gancarz will be the featured speaker at our next chapter meeting on March 21 at the Eagles Club in Shelburne Falls.
Gancarz, of Chicopee, is well known and highly regarded in local fishing circles for tying and presenting tiny midges – down to a #32 hook – to big trout using light-weight rods, thin tippet (down to 10X in winter) and tiny midge imitations that often dominate a trout’s diet.
Gancarz also captures the tiny insects on area rivers, placing them in glass vials filled with alcohol-laced hand sanitizer. This preserves the bugs in a state of suspended animation for clear viewing, so he can easily copy their distinct features up close — which commercial fly tiers often miss — on his fly-tying vise. He will bring some of his light rods (down to a custom-made, Triple-0 weight), an assortment of tiny flies he’s made and uses, as well as vials of midges he has caught and copied into his own fly-tying patterns. He will also be giving away his collection of store-bought flies that he no longer uses.
Gancarz, a retired design and industrial engineer, will offer his own tips to successful midge fishing and looks forward to a good dialogue and answering any relevant questions about midges and light-tackle techniques.
A co-inventor of the AccuTrigger, that he developed for Savage Arms in 2002, Gancarz has been spending his retirement perfecting the fly-fishing skills he first learned as a boy, fishing on the upper Deerfield River in the early 1950’s.
The meeting will be held on Thursday, March 21st upstairs at the Eagles Club, 52 State Street, Shelburne Falls, MA starting at 6:30 pm. The public is welcome to attend.
Update: We had a great night at the Annual Meeting/Dinner. Over $2,000 were raised through the auction and raffle and will be applied to Franklin Land Trust’s planned acquisition of riparian land adjacent to the Crowningshield property on the West Branch of the North River.
Original Post: 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.
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.