June - 2015

Newsletter of the Naugatuck-Pomperaug Chapter
Trout Unlimited

Publisher: Cathy Unger
Contributors: Bob Gregorski, Ernie Ludwig

Ernie Ludwig  | Vice President  | Naugatuck/Pomperaug Chapter                   
203-560-2053 | |
Tungsten BH Czech Mate Nymph - Hare's Ear                                                                

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 or visit

Please join us at 7:00 pm on June 3rd, at the ION Bank community center in Naugatuck.  

The Chapter participated in the Flanders Farm Day with a table for tying flies and casting in at the pond. This was an outreach program that was run by George Rein from our group. Thank you George for your support.


OUTDOORS 5-15-15 Bob Gregorski

The Naugatuck River Abounds With Fish

Here’s a brief overview of the early Naugatuck River history from 1700 through 1966. Beginning in the in the 1700’s, the Naugatuck Valley became attractive for industrial development. Because of its steep gradient, the Naugatuck River was well suited for waterpower and it was developed for this use very early in the history of Connecticut. The tributaries and main river was used for industrial water supply (water power) and for the disposal of wastes. Industrialization of its valley and use of the river as a receiving stream for municipal sewage, and a wide variety of industrial wastes followed. In 1845, the largest brass mill in the United States was built in the City of Waterbury and by the early 1900s the Naugatuck Valley was one of the principal brass manufacturing regions of the world, a distinction, which remained through the 1960s.

A report by the state Sewage Commission dated 1899 stated that the Naugatuck River had reached the limit of permissible pollution due to the discharge of industrial wastes and municipal sewage. A subsequent report by the state Board of Health in 1915 described the river as badly polluted throughout its length and listed six municipal and 29 industrial waste sources on the river. This grossly polluted condition was essentially unchanged into the late 1960s and early 1970s.

In the years following the 1955 flood, the US Army Corps of Engineers undertook extensive flood control projects in the basin. A large flood control dam was constructed on the main stem of the river at Thomaston and six additional flood control dams were constructed on tributaries for a total capacity of 77,000 acre feet. Five local flood control projects were also constructed, resulting in extensive steam channel modifications in tile cities of Torrington, Waterbury, Ansonia and Derby.

An excellent source about the early history of the Naugatuck River is Naugatuck River Greenway National Park Service Video. It can be found on-line.

The river improved from one of the most polluted waterways in the country to one that now has 42 species of fish and is a popular river for paddlers. Wildlife abounds in its riparian habitat.
Prior to the DEEP annual trout stockings, the Naugatuck Valley Chapter Trout Unlimited stocked several thousand trout in the Naugy The DEEP granted special permits to NVCTU because state money was not used to purchase the trout. NVCTU gambled that any of the trout which it stocked survived, they would be a hardy strain. And some did. For about the last 20 years the DEEP has been stocking trout, broodstock Atlantic salmon, American shad, river herring (Alewives) and sea-run trout.

Here is just one more reason why there are so many species. In spring of 1995 the Naugatuck River Watershed Association (NRWA) was granted a permit from the DEEP to stock 50 channel catfish in the Naugatuck River. The catfish were to be caught in the Connecticut River in the Windsor area and transported to Naugatuck & Seymour for stocking.

NRWA solicited the help from Rick Messenger, Roger Whitcomb and Dan Moliengo of Southbury. They fished all night May 24 until early of the next day. The catfish were held and transported in large coolers with aerators supplying sufficient oxygen. The 48 channel cats included: 3 about 3 pounds, 2 about 2.5 pounds and the remainder weighed one to 2 pounds. The three stocking locations and numbers were: the at the foot of the Rimmon (Tinque) Dam (20), above the Kinneytown Fish Ladder (18) and Linden Park area above the Union City Dam site (10). The anglers expertise at catching the 48 catfish was evident. The volunteers were supervised by a NRWA fishery representative.

The goal was to stock enough channel catfish to create a fishery from Thomaston through Derby. In subsequent years, the DEEP has data of them living in the Naugatuck River. Channel catfish are hard fighting game fish which can grow more than 30 pounds, and they are a tasty table-fare. These catfish have a deeply forked tail, silvery color with dark spots on their sides. The State record is 29 pounds 6 ounces. If you have caught one, contact me at the Republican-American. Please give the details (who, when, where and size) of the catch.

“A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure’— Oliver Wendell Holmes

Conservationists Successful

On April 23, 2015 a hard working group of 22 Naugatuck High School (NHS), Air Force Junior ROTC cadets cleaned the east riverbank of the Naugatuck River and the Greenway Trail in Linden Park in Naugatuck. Master Sergeant Gary Morrone, USAF (ret) and Lieutenant Colonel Valerie Lofland, USAF (ret) led the cadets in this effort to improve the quality of life in the Naugatuck River Valley. This the sixth consecutive year (eleventh time) that the NHS ROTC has completed conservation projects along the Naugatuck River. Now trail walkers, paddlers, anglers and wildlife observers will have an improved scenic view of the river and its riparian habitat.

More than a dozen bags of light debris, two shopping carts, metal pipes & poles, a truck tires and plenty of light unsightly debris was removed from the river bank. (See photo.)

The project was organized by Joe Savarese and Bob Gregorski of the Naugatuck River Watershed Association (NRWA) and sponsored by the Borough of Naugatuck including the Mayor’s office, Public Works and Recreation Departments. Ron Tymula Manager of Student Transportation of America in Naugatuck donated the bus transportation. The Naugatuck-Pomperaug Chapter Trout Unlimited helped subsidized the project.

Cadets at AJROTC Clean Up Linden Park. From Left to Right: Lt Col Valerie J. Lofland, USAF, (ret), Diego Roggero, Justin Raymond, Austin Bartlett, Alyssa Almanzar, James DeBisshop, Dave Roskosky, Daniel Solberg, Arber Mustafa, Grace Santiago, Logan Lowe, Anthony Sandri, Jada Illa, Josh Velez, Aliyah Tripp, Justin Lastra, Enid Velez, Chris Werner, Dionne Bailey, Clayton Watson, Rachel Drisdelle, Joseph Taveras, Kevin Pimpinelli, Daniel Taylor.

Photo by Bob Gregorski

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. 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.