Category Archives: General

DRWTU Annual Meeting/Banquet 2019

Scenic Warfield House – site of the DRWTU Annual Meeting February 23, 2019

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 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.  


Trout Spawning Study Update

DRWTU Members sort out reach assignments.
DRWTU Members sort out reach assignments for Identification of spawning redds on December 1.

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.

Embrace a Stream Challenge

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).

National Recognition for DRWTU

Trout fry in the Upper Deerfield

Chris Wood, President and CEO of Trout Unlimited wrote an article that captures the qualities and highlights the philosophy of DRWTU.  Read the article here

The chapter received an Embrace-a-Stream grant in the amount of $6,000.00to support efforts to document wild brown trout spawning in the Deerfield mainstem.  Here’s an article about the award that appeared in the Greenfield Recorder:    Trout Unlimited receives grant for continuation of spawning study

Gold Trout Award

The Deerfield River Watershed Chapter of Trout Unlimited was honored with the Golden Trout Award at the 2018 National Trout Unlimited Meeting.

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.

Fish and Game Brown Trout Study

Brown Trout Adipose Fin Survey

Click the red text above to start survey.

Brown trout with adipose fin for reference.

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.

Summer Picnic

The 2016 Deerfield River Watershedchapter picnic will occur on August 18th at the Zoar picnic ground.  Arrival time is 5 PM. Grilling will begin at 6 PM. The chapter will supply hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob and watermelon. Bring your own drinks. Pot luck for deserts, i.e.: brownies, cake, pie etc. The fishing should be good so bring your gear. Fish stories a must. Friends, family and interested new members. Other chapters are encouraged to come. There will be a raffle for rods and a full fly box!!! Rain date Aug 19th

Flies, Pies & Lies

This annual event is a chapter favorite when in deep winter  members get together to shake off the winter’s blahs by tying flies, eating pizza (pies) and trading fishing stories (lies). The camaraderie is perfect and is complimented with raffles of various tying and fly fishing supplies. A little beer, some tasty pizza. a few whip finishes and maybe even a raffle prize. What could be better on a cold winter day? This year’s Flies Pies Lies event will happen on Sunday February 19, 2017  from 10 AM to 4 PM at the Eagles Hall (FOE) on the Buckland side of Shelburne Falls (52 State St.). A modest donation of $15.00 will be charged to cover the pizza and hall costs.

For more information, contact Sean Bresnahan 413-374-8824 or

Single Fly Competition

The single fly is just as it sounds. Pick just one pattern – nymph, dry, wet, streamer and use only that pattern for two days of fishing in early June which coincides with the Mass. Fish and Wildlife free fishing weekend. Only one pattern is allowed – maybe a Hare’s Ear, or a Soft Hackle, or possibly an Adams, or even a Wooly Bugger. The angler registers their fly with the DRWTU representative at the Zoar picinic area and checks back at the end of the second day with the tally of the total inches of the various trout that they caught and released with that fly. Prizes are awarded based upon the total inches of all of the trout caught during the two day event.

For additional information contact: Horace (Ho) Taft-Ferguson

Annual Meeting

The chapter’s annual meeting will take place on Saturday, February 24th beginning at 6 PM at the Warfield House, 200 Warfield Rd. Charlemont MA. This meeting is a celebration of the year’s activities and accomplishments. A relaxing venue complete with a cash bar and tasty dinner including dessert and coffee will enhance the companionship of this event.  The annual Bob Anderson Conservationist Of The Year award will be presented. After dinner there will be a raffle of quality fly fishing gear including, boxes of flies, tying materials, brand name rods, and Deerfield River guide trips.

The keynote speaker for the event will be Keith Fritschie. His presentation will concern wild brook trout spawning habitat and behavior in northern New Hampshire’s Dead Diamond River.  Keith describes his presentation as follows:

The availability, quality, and spatial arrangement of spawning habitat are key components in sustaining healthy wild fish populations. The brook trout of New Hampshire’s Dead Diamond River are among the the last fully wild, partially migratory population in the state, yet we know relatively little about spawning habitat use and needs in this system. Therefore, New Hampshire Fish and Game, Trout Unlimited, and Dartmouth College are working together to assess the current status of mainstem river spawning habitat and track spawning trends through time in the Dead Diamond. To this end, in Fall 2017 we performed a 28km-long redd survey, measured habitat characteristics at used and unused redd sites, and video-recorded 50 hours of brook trout spawning activity. This presentation will communicate some of our preliminary findings from 2017 and next steps in 2018.

Keith Fritsche is a stream ecologist-in-training at Dartmouth College and lives with his wife and dog in Fairlee, Vermont. Previously, he received an MS in aquatic and fishery sciences from the University of Washington, Seattle and a BA in environmental science from Colorado College. He grew up exploring the tributaries of the middle and upper Delaware River near Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania.

This is our major fundraiser of the year. All proceeds will benefit conservation efforts in the Deerfield River watershed. Friends and family are welcome.  There will be a buffet dinner with cash bar – $30.00 per person.  Contact Kevin Parsons by February 11, 2018: email preferred: or call Kevin 413-522-5200