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).
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
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.
Click the red text above to start survey.
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.
If you are looking for some content from the DRWTU home page, you may find it here.
Yankee Fisherman Airs Segment on Phase 2 of DRWTU Spawning Survey
Advance video to 4:50 to begin our segment.
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.
Link to Final License Application. BSPC will also be adding the FLA to the Bear Swamp Project’s public relicensing website (www.bearswampproject.com) in the coming days.
Spawning Survey Phase 2
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.
Breaking News(Updated 3/7/18):
MassLive is covering this story here
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:
Brookfield’s Letter to FERC
MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Letter to FERC
Appendix A: MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Request for Study
US Fisheries and Wildlife Letter to FERC
DRWTU President Kevin Parson’s Letter to FERC