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Derbies get kids into fishing

Spring fishing derbies are a great way to introduce kids to angling, and there are several in the Nutmeg TU area.

The Fairfield PAL will hold its annual derby Saturday, April 7, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Gould Manor Park, 749 Holland Hill Road, Fairfield. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. The Fairfield PAL Trout Derby is open to ages 3 to 15; prizes are awarded for the largest and smallest fish.

The 50th Milford Children’s Trout Derby, sponsored by the Milford Striped Bass Club, will be held Saturday, May 5. Trout Derby co-chairmen Shawn and Jenn Lalond have been organizing and running the event for more than 10 years. They can be reached at poolshark442@aol.com.

The Stratford Recreation Dept. is having its annual Catch-and-Release Fishing Derby for children of all ages on Saturday, May 5, from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m., at Brewster Pond in Stratford. The fee is $5; register April 2-May 4 online at www.townofstratford.com/recreation or in the Recreation Dept. office at 468 Birdseye Street, Stratford.

The 15th annual Monroe Police Fishing Derby will be held Saturday, May 19, from 6 to 9 a.m. at Wolf Park’s Great Hollow Lake in Monroe. The event is open, free of charge, to children 3 to 15. Prizes are awarded for the heaviest fish in the age groups 5 and under, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-15.

The lives of trout in CT March 20 topic

Tim Barry, supervising fisheries biologist for the Connecticut DEEP

Learn about trout in Connecticut and how they are kept healthy and available for anglers on Tuesday, March 20, at 7 p.m. at Port 5, 69 Brewster St., Bridgeport.

With new regulations including a salmon and trout stamp, plus changes to designations on the Mill River just approved, Nutmeg TU will welcome Tim Barry of the DEEP.

The meeting is open to the public free of charge.

Barry will deliver an update on the pending rewrite of the 20-year-old Statewide Trout Management Plan and how TU figures into the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s R3 (Recruitment, Retention, and Re-activation) licensing efforts.

Barry earned a bachelor’s degree in natural resource conservation from the University of Connecticut in 1978 and a master’s degree in fisheries science from the University of Massachusetts in 1983.

From 1978-80 he was a volunteer fish technician for the Peace Corps in Honduras.

After working as an aquatic scientist for Ecosystem Consulting Service in Coventry from 1982 to 1984, Barry joined the DEEP (then the Department of Environmental Protection). He was a fisheries biologist I from 1984-87, a fisheries biologist II from 1987-2012, and in 2012 became a supervising fisheries biologist for the DEEP Fisheries Division.

Barry has worked extensively with species such as trout, northern pike, walleye and largemouth and smallmouth bass on projects throughout the state.

Pizza and beverages are available for purchase.

Rep Your Water adds CT hats

RepYour Water, which supports Connecticut Trout Unlimited’s mission, has added new Connecticut-themed hats to its offerings.

One features a brook trout, the other a striped bass, both on hats emblazoned with Connecticut. Another hat features a Colonial era flag bearing a trout, embroidered with New England. Click here to see the entire Connecticut collection.

RepYourWater provides creative and unique designs on high-quality apparel and merchandise while making a difference for wildlife habitat around the country. By teaming up with Colorado Trout Unlimited early in its existence, RepYourWater has been able to contribute to the conservation of Colorado fisheries and set in motion what the company is today.

Rep. Your Water has now joined with conservation organizations across the United States, including the Connecticut Council of TU, as 1% partners. Rep Your Water distributes 10% of sales among those 1% partners, based on sales of designs to the Trout Unlimited chapters of Connecticut, Canada, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, the Southeastern Conservation Project and New Mexico; Backcountry Hunters and Anglers Chapters in Utah, Alaska and Montana; the Wild Steelhead Coalition and The Bonefish and Tarpon Trust to provide financial support for the protection of the natural world.

RepYourWater also donates 50% of the proceeds from the Bristol Bay, Native Fish Society and the WILD steelhead hats to the Renewable Resources Fund, Native Fish Society and Wild Steelhead Coalition respectively.  

The message to Connecticut anglers is, the more Connecticut merchandise you buy from Rep Your Water, the more money comes back for local conservation efforts.

For more information on Rep Your Water’s relationship with each non-profit, choose from the drop-down menu on its home page, repyourwater.com.

Exciting events open to all

Nutmeg TU President Rich Rosen

Fellow fishermen and conservationists:

Wow!  Our February board meeting just ended and I am excited!  Your Board really stepped up and put together a great agenda for the next five months.  I needed to share our plans with you so here goes!

Our speaker agenda will bring us new ideas and hints for local fishing.

  • February 20  Jimmy O is going to tell us about Winter striper fishing on the Housie.
  • March 20  Tim Barry from DEEP will enlighten us about stocking plans, DEEP’s new fish finding tech, and the new expanded TMA on the Mill River.  Plus much more!
  • April 17  Jeff Yale from Regional Water will talk about fishing Lake Saltonstall.  The lake is easily accessible (visible from Rt. 95) and loaded with a wide variety of fish, including Walleye, Bass, trout and much more.
  • May 15  Sonny Yu talks fly fishing for American Shad.  We’ll have a trip the Saturday after this meeting to fish for Shad on the Mill River in Fairfield (who knew?)

Kudos to John Kovach for creating such an exciting agenda. The meetings are always at Port 5 in Bridgeport and pizza and drinks are available. We also have some fun auction items available at every meeting to raise some funds to support our programs.

In March we start our fishing trips and hands on activities.  All of the trips will be led by one or more of our experienced fishing leaders from our Board and membership.

  • March 31 – Trout fishing the Saugatuck on Ford Road.
  • April 21 (World Fish Migration Day) –  This is a big one!

In cooperation with Beardsley Zoo we will have a Pequonnock River Day.

Activities to include:

    • River cleanup.
    • River walk and insect study.
    • Bird of Prey animal encounter.
    • Fly casting clinic (5 LL Bean donated rods will be available for use).
    • Tree planting.
    • And of course, we will cap the day off with some fishing on the Pequonnock.

             Get your hands dirty, learn to fish and catch some fish. Come for all or part of the day.

  • May 20 – Shad fishing on the Mill River in Fairfield.
  • May 23 – Trout fishing at the Limestone Club (fee charged, space limited – email me to register rhrosen@aol.com)
  • May 26 – Striper fishing on the Housatonic at the Audubon center in Milford.
  • June 24 – Trout fishing on the Farmington.

On the Conservation front we resume our work on the Mill River at Congress Street. Watch your emails for the date.  Many hands will be needed as we work to deepen the river by anchoring Christmas trees to channel the river.  Last year we planted hundreds of trees here.  This next important phase will insure the Mill river will continue to be a premiere fishing spot for years to come.  It can’t be done without member’s like you helping.

I hope you agree that we have some great stuff lined up and member participation is key. All of the meetings and trips are free (except for the Limestone outing) and the public is welcome.

Rich Rosen

Nutmeg Chapter President