June - 2014

Newsletter of the Naugatuck-Pomperaug Chapter
Trout Unlimited

Publisher: Cathy Unger
Contributors: Bob Gregorski, Ernie Ludwig

Upcoming Events

Monthly meetings are at 7:00 PM 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  

Tim Barry from the DEEP will be joining us at our JUNE 4th Meeting to give us an update on the stocking program success in the state this year. Please bring your questions to the meeting regarding your own fishing success this year to share with him and the group. This will be our last meeting until September however don’t forget our Farmington Fishing outing on the 30th of August and bring a friend along.

End of the SUMMER Event
FLY FISHING on the Farmington River on August 30th

This year the board members are hosting the event and have set a date of August 30th for our fishing trip on the Farmington River this year. We will meet at Whittemore Pool at 7 am for coffee and donuts in the morning and burgers and dogs on the grill for lunch. All chapter members are welcome and we hope to see a good crowd as in the past. Please let us know if you will be attending so we can plan the right amount of food for the event. Contact any of the people below either by phone or email.


Steve Farnham   Ph. 203-509-2419 or email:
Ed Dearborn     Ph. 203-263-6229 or email:
Ernie Ludwig     Ph. 203-639-2643 or email:   

President's Notes

Hello Everyone,

Fishing has certainly been a challenge lately with high, cold water making it tough to catch trout in area streams.  As we head into the peak season, however warmer temperatures in our local waters should help us start seeing increased insect hatches and trout rising to the surface.

On the Farmington we are starting to see small light cahill hatches in different areas of the river that I fished.  Small Prince nymph and Black Hares Ear patterns seem to be the most effective this past month.

Last month with our Trout In the Classroom program being headed up by TIC Coordinator, Al Concilio, from our chapter did their annual fish release at Black Rock State Park. This year we had three schools that participated in TIC; The Wallace Middle School in Waterbury, Memorial Middle School in Middlebury and Polk School in Watertown.

Many thanks to our volunteers; Steve Farnham, Frank Domroski, Gary Zrelak and Dom Falcone for taking the time to help make this year successful for the kids and our chapter.

Below are some pictures of the event.

Trout Rivers in Jeopardy 5-2-14   Bob Gregorski

Here’s what I observed recently while fishing the Pomperaug River in Three Rivers Park in Woodbury. The condition of the riverbanks was significantly worse than last spring. Sections of the east bank lost at least a 50 foot stretch measuring three feet high and three feet deep since last spring. As a river widens it exacerbates thermal and erosion pollutions increase. The lower the water level, the faster it heats. Soil washed into the river covers the gravel needed for aquatic life to reproduce and survive. And the loss of banks will get worse. Now a section of the west bank is under mined and ready to cave in. On OPENING DAY I warned an angler standing close to the edge, which had been washed away beneath him, to move back, and he did. Several trees on both east and west banks are destined to topple soon.

Most of the pools and long deep glides have been filled with sand/silt. Now there are no pools to hold trout year round. Much of the gravel, river bottom is covered with sand/silt. Erosion results in a deadly form of pollution. There is likely to be no spawning of trout and other species of aquatic life. The insect hatches from the river have greatly reduced from the old days. The water level is low most of the time and warms quickly during the summer. The scores of trees that once formed a canopy over the river reducing the amount of direct sunshine, which created thermal pollution, are gone.

The following is some of what I wrote in my September 2006 and September 2012 columns. After fishing sections of the Pomperaug, Nonnewaug and Weekeepeemee rivers, they are not the good trout fisheries they once were. My focus in this opinion piece is the stretches of each river from Route 47 in Woodbury south, but much of what I say holds true for more sections of these rivers. For those not familiar with this trio, the Nonnewaug and Weekeepeemee rivers form the Pomperaug River about 100 yards south of Route 47 (Washington Road). I know it well; I’ve fished the three rivers since 1963. Here’s a brief overview of my opinion of what population growth in the greater Woodbury area has done to these once fine fisheries.

In the early sixties , after a moderate rainfall the water level of the Pomperaug River would rise a few inches and the water became cloudy. Those conditions lasted for a few hours after the rain stopped. I had kayaked that stretch several times. In some sections, the banks of the three rivers had canopies of trees and were lined with bushes. Deadfalls and branches of bushes rested in the rivers, which slowed the current during high water and gave fish and other aquatic creatures a safe haven from predators. Shade helped keep the waters cooler in the summer and the roots of bushes and trees that lined the banks aided in retarding erosion. Then the rivers were deeper and there were many more pools that held trout.

These rivers had large areas of gravel for river beds; excellent conditions for spawning trout to create their redds (nests where eggs and milt were deposited). A good flow of oxygen up through the small gravel was necessary for the trout eggs to grow. There was good flow provided by the gradient in the rivers that created more oxygenated water as it flowed over rocks and deadfalls absorbing oxygen from the air.

One needs to wade the river to observe the devastation that has resulted from population growth. Do NOT wade along the west bank just below the confluence. The rotted leaves have formed a mucky mass at least a foot deep. Hopefully it will not turn into quicksand. It’s a shame that the conditions of these rivers have not been addressed. I hope the Pomperaug River, once a good recreational resource (angling, kayaking, canoeing, wildlife observation) and its tributaries do not become unsightly, open drainage ditches that has little or no recreational value. The challenge is—who will step up to the rivers and save them.

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.