A tree has fallen and is partially covering a favorite pool in the William “Doc” Skerlick Fly Fishing Only section of the Saugatuck River Trout Management Area in Westport.

What to do?!?

Actually, this is a blessing in disguise!

Why are large woody debris important?

Wood helps stabilize shorelines and provides vital habitat for trout and other creatures. Preserving and even increasing the amounts of large woody debris along shorelines is important for keeping our aquatic areas healthy and improving the survival of native trout and other animals.

Some key benefits of large woody debris to fish and other aquatic creatures:

  • It provides refuge for juvenile and adult fish at a wide range of river flows, such as flood events.
  • It creates pools for juvenile fish and hydraulic complexity and roughness along the river bank
  • It provides food sources and habitat for aquatic insects and wildlife along shorelines.
  • It helps stabilize shorelines and reduce excessive erosion.

(Source: https://www.kingcounty.gov/services/environment/water-and-land/shorelines/about/shoreline-ecology/large-woody-debris.aspx)

Trout just feel safer where there is large woody debris, and their numbers are higher there and in surrounding areas. That is why Nutmeg TU is installing revetments and adding large woody debris to the Mill River – currently focusing on the Congress Street section! As TU members like to say, ” If you take care of the fish, the fishing will take care of itself”.

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