NEWSREEL

FEBRUARY - 2015

Newsletter of the Naugatuck-Pomperaug Chapter
Trout Unlimited

 

Publisher: Cathy Unger
Contributors: Bob Gregorski, Ernie Ludwig

Tungsten BH Czech Mate Nymph - Hare's Ear
 
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Monthly meetings meetings are starting back up on the first Wednesday of the month in the Community Room at the, ION Bank, (formerly the Naugatuck Savings Bank), 87 Church St., Naugatuck, CT.  For further information call Dom Falcone at 860-274-4103 or dafalcone@snet.net or visit www.tunaugpomp.org.

Hello Everyone,
This month we will have a Speaker, Kevin Zak who will do a presentation on the challenges we face on the Tingue Dam and the newly constructed fish ladder. He will share his views and observations of the project along with options the group, “The Naugatuck River Revival Group” that is helping support this as well as other worthwhile projects in the area. One of their main goals is to educate the public on the issues.

Please join us at 7:00 pm on February 4th at the ION Bank community center in Naugatuck.

FLY TYING AT STOP & SHOP

The seasonal Fly tying classes sponsored by the our chapter has started on the second, third and forth weeks of every month at Stop & Shop in Southbury at 7:00 pm and continue out thru the end of March of 2015.   All are invited to attend and share in the fun.  Don’t be afraid to bring some friends or family along.

TU ANNUAL BANQUET NEWS IN MARCH

Our Annual Chapter Banquet has been scheduled to be held on March 27th at the Crystal Room in Naugatuck, which is being held at the same restaurant as last year. Tickets will be able to be purchased online or by phone just like last year. We have managed to hold the price for tickets at $35.00 dollars each or $65.00 per couple which is the same amount as last year. More information on the times and menu will follow. Please contact Ed Dearborn at 203-263-6229 or email:  decengr@charter.net , who will gladly accept Cash or checks from anyone who would like to attend.

We have a Position for an assistant Events Chair to share arranging speakers and or activities for the monthly meetings during the year with Ernie Ludwig who can be reached at email: eludwig@snet.net or 203-560-2053. This involves 4 hours total of someone's time per year and the meetings are held at his my house.  See schedule below for potential activity openings.  A list of potential speakers to contact will be available. Please consider supporting our need.

Meeting Dates:  Year 2015                                                                

March 4th                    Speaker needed (Call & Confirm)
April 1st                       Open
May 6th                       Speaker needed (Call & Confirm)
June 3rd                       Open       



Naugy Shad & River Herring Report 2014

Here’s the report researched by Bob Gregorski with information from Inland Fisheries Division (IFD) data has been confirmed by Tim Wildman and Dave Ellis of the DEEP Fisheries Biologists Diadromous Fisheries Division.

AMERICAN SHAD – DEEP June 2014 Inland Fisheries Division Report
Transplanted 323 adult pre-spawn American Shad: (Farmington River = 160) and (Naugatuck River = 163 stocked at Riverbend Park Beacon Falls-- 5/28/2014 released 81 and 5/29/2014 released 82. Shad were transported from the Holyoke Fishlift (Connecticut River) to spawning habitat upstream of fishways to accelerate restoration.

Alewife—Beacon Falls (5/8/2014) The 800 that were released were transported from Bride Brook in Niantic, CT.

Another success story: TU & NRWA assisted Mike Horbal & Don Mysling in designing Riverbend Park so stocking of: shad, herring, trout & salmon would be easy.

Hopefully the young-of-the-year shad and herring will use the new by-pass channel in Seymour to return to the ocean this fall and later return as adults.Bride Brook in Niantic, CT.


FISHING ACCESS AND ENFORCEMENT on THE NAUGATUCK RIVER

Ernie,
Here's the reply from the DEEP on my concerns. Please share it with the T.U. members.
Thank you,
 Bob N.

To: Klee, Robert
Subject: 'Fishing Regulation Enforcement' and 'No Fishing Access to Naugatuck River in Beacon Falls'

Commisioner,
 I spoke to you at the Naugatuck River Paul Pawlak Sr. Bypass ceremony on 10/30/14 about the above two concerns. Being retired and an avid fly fisherman, I'm hopeful that you can help in addressing them.

Fishing regulation enforcement: 
Throughout the fishing season there have been violations but, in the past two weeks it seems that I can't go anywhere without running into or hear a story of someone breaking the rules. Fishing with live bait and taking fish in the Housatonic fly fishing catch and release section, snagging and taking salmon in the Naugatuck River (Harwington) where no fish are to be taken until December 1st - use of treble hooks, taking of 40 plus fish observed above Riverton on the Farmington River. I go out for some enjoyment and relaxation and get frustrated when I run into one of these rule breakers. My day is ruined, and it only gets worse if I get into a verbal confrontation.

 I attended last month's Farmington River Anglers Association (FRAA) meeting, and they brought up the 40 plus fish being taken. Multiple calls to the TIP line were never responded to. 

Where are the game wardens/conservation officers?

No access to the Naugatuck River in the High Rock park section in Beacon Falls:  
The railroad refuses to let anyone cross the railroad tracks to access the river. This, for safety reasons, is understandable, but they have denied access to some of the best fishing habitat in the river. It's a part of the river that was designed/made for fishing. Boulders were installed in the river throughout the area to enhance the habitat at what I would say was a big cost. With the access denied, DEEP will not stock the area. What a waste...... There's a tunnel under the tracks in the High Rock park area that enables a brook to empty into the river. It's a large tunnel that is big enough to walk through. Could this be made into an access point? What other things can be done to get access either over or under the tracks? Can an access point or points be built on the Route 8 side of the river?

Please help.

 Thank you,
 Bob Nikituk  

Bob,

Thanks for chatting with me at the Tingue Dam event, and for following up by email as I requested.  I have cc’d our Bureau Chief of Outdoor Recreation, Mike Lambert, who oversees our Environmental Conservation police force, and our Bureau Chief of Natural Resources, Bill Hyatt, who oversees our inland fisheries programs.  The interesting issues and concerns you have raised cut across staff from both Bureaus, so we will work internally to coordinate our response. 

Cheers,
Rob

Robert J. Klee
Commissioner
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106-5127
P: 860.424.3571F: 860.424.4051 E: robert.klee@ct.gov

Follow up email On Tuesday, December 2, 2014 from Michael Lambert who wrote;

Dear Mr. Nikituk,

Thank you for your e-mail to Commissioner Klee concerning fishing enforcement issues and access to the Naugatuck River.  I am the Bureau Chief of the Agency’s Bureau of Outdoor Recreation and the Division of Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police, which is responsible for fishing enforcement in the State. 

I have spoken with Colonel Overturf, the Division Director, about your concerns.  The three areas you have identified as needing stepped up enforcement are in the northwest sector of the state.  Unfortunately the northwest is suffering from a staffing shortage due to the recent retirement of two officers and the supervisor for the area.  We have transferred one officer to that area to assist and another officer will be assigned there once he graduates the police academy in December. 

Colonel Overturf did a record search of complaints coming into our Emergency Dispatch Center since August and found that there were several that officers could not respond to due to higher priority assignments or the suspects having left before the arrival of the officers.  However, in half the complaints called in, our officers located the suspects and took some type of enforcement action.  The officers that work the area recognize that these rivers are important to the fishing community and patrol them as much as their time and activity permit.  In addition to enforcement actions stemming from public complaints, our officers have found numerous violations during their routinely scheduled patrols of these areas.

I am also pleased to report that our Environmental Conservation Police Division was successful in obtaining a grant that provides funding for overtime associated with fishing enforcement on the Housatonic River.  We have made good use of these funds that past couple of years to address poaching problems in both the Bulls Bridge and Cornwall sections of the river and expect to again in the future once our staffing shortage is resolved.  

We realize that it can be frustrating when a legal sportsman observes a violation and an officer cannot respond, but in the majority of instances our officers are able to respond in a timely manner so we encourage you to keep calling in these incidents to our dispatch center.  Even if an officer cannot respond, the complaint is logged in and this information assists us in making decisions on scheduling future patrols. 

Your access concerns regarding the Naugatuck River in the High Park section in Beacon Falls has been considered by the Inland Fisheries Division, which is part of the Bureau of Natural Resources.  As you know, pedestrian traffic across the Metro North railroad tracks that parallel High Rock Rd. is prohibited.  This is due to legitimate public safety concerns in regards to people being in harms-way when in close proximity to high speed trains.  The CT DOT and Metro North take this matter very seriously and therefore prohibit any pedestrian traffic either in close proximity to, or crossing-over the tracks.  Access along this and other parts the river is further constrained by CT Route 8 running close to the river on the opposite bank. 

The Division shares your disappointment that we are not able stock this approximately 1.5 mile length of the lower Naugatuck River with trout or broodstock Atlantic salmon.  Unfortunately we have no recourse at this time.  The safety concerns described above and poor access to the river precludes the Division from stocking fish in this area of the Naugatuck River.  As you have pointed out, the only location along this entire stretch where anglers are currently allowed legal access to the Naugatuck River is via the large box culvert that conveys Spruce Brook under the railroad right-of-way and High Rock Rd before it enters the Naugatuck River.  While this location does provide a means to cross the RR tracks, it is not conducive as a stocking location due to the distance to the actual main stem Naugatuck River and the very irregular bottom and steep stream gradient of Spruce Brook.

You are correct regarding the large boulders that were placed throughout this stretch of the Naugatuck River.  The boulders (along with several well-constructed rock current deflectors) were procured from offsite sources and placed as “in-stream fisheries habitat” during the time when Route 8 was being built and the Naugatuck River channel was “re-routed” (i.e. moved) to its current location back in the 1960s or 1970s.  The entire river channel along this stretch is essentially man-made and was constructed with fish habitat in mind.  As you have stated, these structures were designed and placed at considerable cost to the State and the fact that they have endured and functioned as designed is a testament to their construction. 

Ultimately, due to the mass transit corridors on both side of the river in this area and the strict public safety concerns along those corridors, pedestrian angler access to the Naugatuck River is severely restricted at this time.  You and others interested in seeking improvements in access along this part of the Naugatuck River could consider contacting the CT DOT and Metro North directly.  Alternatively you may wish to contact the Naugatuck River Greenway Steering Committee, as this group with representatives from Naugatuck River Valley towns and other organizations is, among other things, successfully creating public access areas along other segments of the Naugatuck River.  Staff from the Inland Fisheries Division remain available to provide information on the fish community and fish habitat currently in this part of the river, and to outline possible stocking scenarios (numbers, sizes and species) in the event that reasonable access can be secured for stocking and for angling, and to otherwise support efforts to gain access to the river.

I would be happy to speak with you or look at the area to determine if there are opportunities to develop or improve existing trails and greenways that could enhance fishing access.  Our State Parks Trails and Greenways Staff would be available to assist and may have additional information related to long term trail development in the area.  Don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,

Michael D. Lambert
Bureau Chief
Outdoor Recreation
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106-5127
P: 860.424.3030F: 860.424.4070 E: Michael.Lambert@ct.gov


Free Membership for Women
Expanding TU's Membership Base.

And speaking of new members, do you know any women who enjoy our sport, conservation or both? Well, TU is interested in attracting more women to the organization and for a limited time is offering women free memberships. 

http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs138/1108742089399/img/31.jpgPlease feel free to share this information with any women anglers or conservationists you might now. Let's all work to expand our influence.



  Membership Renewals:
Recent changes have been made to TU's policy toward membership renewals. Individual chapters no longer receive a portion of each renewal. As such, please send renewals directly to TU national or renew on the web site.

Trout Unlimited's Mission

To conserve, protect and restore North America's cold water fisheries and their watershed.