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From Ron Merly’s Desk, September

Ron Merly shows the size of the fish that can be caught on the annual Nutmeg TU camping trip along the Housatonic.

The saltwater action was spotty this season but when it was good, it was really good. Some very large stripers were caught in our area earlier in the season including a 65 pounder caught off of Bridgeport. Sea bass continue to be caught but mostly at night. Overall, right now the fishing in southwestern Long Island Sound is slow.

On the freshwater end of the spectrum, we are in a drought. The Housatonic River is lower than it has been in a few years which will affect the survival rates of the trout. The rest of the streams in the state remain low as we presently have a deficit of more than 1 1/2 inches of rain. We are so very fortunate to have the Farmington River in our backyard. The river has been running well and fishing well. Hatches are early in the morning through mid-day and the action has been dropping off in the evenings for the past month. The fish were keyed in on Needhami flies for the past few weeks but seem to prefer the tricos now. Terrestrials are also working well as I landed a 24.5″ brown trout on an ant. I also caught a beautiful wild brookie on an Adams at the head of Ovation Pool so sometimes it pays to think outside of the box a little bit and move away from what the fish are constantly seeing. Good luck and tight lines.

Ron Merly

Chapter meeting, Tues, May 19, 2015, 7 PM, at Port 5, Bridgeport

Bill Closs will discuss his recent trip to Patagonia, Argentina, for our May meeting.

Bill Closs is a lifelong fly fisherman, with many fly fishing adventures and trips to all of the New England States, as well as, New York, Penn., Montana, Georgia, Florida, Alaska, Michigan, Quebec, Canada, Kamchatka, Russia, and Patagonia, Argentina, and Belize.  Trips to the Amazon and Mongolia are scheduled for 2016. Many of these trips have been made by private plane that he flies for business and pleasure.  Yes, he has even joined our Nutmeg TU group on our past outings to the Catskills.

He owns property 10 minutes from the Farmington River near Riverton, CT, and in Rangeley, Maine where he fly fishes extensively in both places.

The presentation on Patagonia is approx. 50 pictures of rafting, camping, and fishing the Alumine and Le Mas Rivers in Patagonia, Argentina.  The base camp lodge for the fishing group is also a working cattle ranch.

Bill Closs is a fellow angler and his presentation will consist of a brief review of pictures and commentary, and then he will be open to questions and discussion.

Bring your questions!  If you have ever wanted to fish outside of the US, this is an excellent opportunity to find out how you might accomplish this type of travel!

Closs 25 lb Salmon 2011


Catching the big ones Oct. 21 topic


Frank Plona returns to share his wisdom about fishing the Farmington River with Nutmeg TU Tuesday, Oct. 21, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Port 5 Naval Veterans, 69 Brewster St., Bridgeport.

A fellow member of TU, Frank will speak on “How to Catch Big Survivor Trout on the Farmington and Other Places.”

Frank knows the Farmington like the back of his hand. He has technique honed years of experience and he has a storyteller’s way of engaging us. He is a friend and a “fun to have” speaker.

He will outline sets of conditions where you can hook up with bigger, more wary survivor trout in the Farmington River along with an explanation of situations with techniques for handling them and where they will not work. Expect that you will also learn of sections of the Farmington that you may not know of that produce! Frank knows ‘em all.

He just spoke at the recent meeting of his home chapter, Farmington Valley TU, and he filled the house!

Pizza will be served.

UConn replies to Farmington River petition

The University of Connecticut has responded to a petition opposed to its plan to draw water from the Farmington River, which Trout Unlimited and other conservation groups opposed.

Moveon.org shared the reply Wednesday, June 26.

Dear Voice of the Farmington River,

Judging from the email updates we have received on the number of petition signers, it’s clear to us at UConn that the interest in our proposed alternatives for a new source of water supply is still very strong.  Thank you for your continued interest, and I would like to provide you with an update on our work, especially for those who have signed the petition since my previous posting.

As you know, our Environmental Impact Evaluation concluded that each of three possible interconnections with existing water supply systems, those of MDC, Connecticut Water, and Windham Water, were considered viable in terms of their feasibility and the ways by which their respective environmental impacts could be mitigated.

With respect to the petition’s expressed concern for the possible transfer of water from the reservoirs along the Farmington River, we received numerous similar public comments on the EIE. Many of the commenters questioned the EIE’s thoroughness in addressing social and economic considerations for this as well as the other alternatives. To that end, we have formally reached out to each of the potential water suppliers for additional information that will help us address those questions. I’m pleased to report that these efforts have been useful in furthering our assessment.  There’s more on the timing of our response to the EIE comments below.

We also received several comments during the EIE public comment period suggesting that UConn locate the UConn Technology Park away from the Storrs Campus. The proximity of the Technology Park to the Main campus – where graduate and undergraduate students study and reside and faculty teach, research and advise – offers a location best suited to support both our academic mission and economic development. The UConn Technology Park, supported by the enactment of legislation in 2011, advances the University’s role as a top-tier academic and research institution and its pursuit of the fulfillment of its Academic Plan. By offering proximity and access to advanced technology, specialized equipment, faculty expertise, and graduate students, research and technology parks are typically located adjacent to universities’ core science, technology, engineering and math facilities in order to support the creation of partnerships with industry. For these reasons, the Tech Park has been sited
at UConn’s main campus in Storrs. In addition, the North Campus area has been the subject of several previous environmental impact reports, similar to that undertaken for potential sources of water supply, which envisioned this type of use. You can find these reports on the UConn Office of Environmental Policy’s website at http://www.envpolicy.uconn.edu/eie.html (scroll down the website below the water EIE information).

Our work continues on preparing the EIE’s corresponding Record of Decision, the official document that will formally address the issues identified in the comments. This document will require our UConn Board of Trustees endorsement prior to its formal submission to the CT Office of Policy and Management for their review and approval. At this point, we expect the Record of Decision to be presented to the Board of Trustees at their scheduled August 7th meeting. Please check the UConn Office of Environmental Policy’s website (http://www.envpolicy.uconn.edu/eie.html) for updates on the EIE and Record of Decision.

And, as mentioned in my last posting, your patience is very much appreciated.

Jason Coite
UCONN Environmental Compliance Professional