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HELP SAVE THE MILL RIVER IN EASTON, CT

Help Save The Mill River in Easton, CT – By Scott Garland, January 7, 2016 Connecticut Local Fishing News and By Ron Merly of Ron Merly’s Fishing Guide Services

The upper Mill River in Easton, Connecticut is one of the most significant wild trout streams in all of New England. It is exceptionally unique in its characteristic. There is nowhere else in all of New England where you can find a tailwater release Class 1 WTMA (Wild Trout Management Area, containing abundant wild trout and not stocked in more than 5 years) that runs for a few short miles and empties into almost 40 ft. deep thermal refuge. Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) has realized the streams significance and are in the process of changing the regulations from Rte. 59 down to Lake Mohegan to catch and release only, making the entire upper stretch of the stream from the Easton Reservoir all the way to Lake Mohegan one continuous WTMA.

Just below the reservoir is a 30 acre parcel of land that has been the subject of much debate over the years. The land is presently owned by the Town of Easton who bought the property to save it from a large scale development a few years back. Easton is now looking to recoup the money and allow a smaller scale development. The problem is that there is no city sewer in that area and all of the waste, run-off etc. from any development would need to go into the ground which will eventually pollute the river and kill off a population of brook trout that have thrived in that river since the last glacier.

Please show your support in helping keep the Mill River and the natural habitat that thrive in its’ waters by signing this petition and not allowing any type of development by the State of Connecticut or the Town of Easton.

How you can take become involved and take action:

  1. Follow this link http://www.fishingnortheast.net/connecticut-local-fishing-news/help-save-mill-river-in-easton-connecticut/ to sign the online petition and leave a comment.
  2. Email cfe@citizensforeaston.org to receive updates.
  3. Attend Board of Selectmen meetings (bi-monthy; agendas posted on Town of Easton website)

4. Write the Easton Selectmen: First Selectman Adam Dunsby, adunsby@eastonct.gov; Selectman Scott Centrella, carriecolangelo@optonline.net, Selectman Robert Lessler, rlessler@eastonct.gov and BCC cfe@citizensforeaston.org

From Ron Merly’s desk, October

Ron M wild brown trout IMG_2147

19 inch wild Housatonic Brown Trout

The fishing in both the fresh and salt water has been consistently in consistent. With the constant high pressure, no rain and not much barometric fluctuation, the fish and the fishing has been a bit unpredictable. Out in the salt, anglers are having great days with the false albies and the stripers…. other days, nothing in sight. Blackfishing has been a bit better. Very little consistency out there.

In the streams, the Housy, Farmington and Mill Rivers are really the only fishable streams as everything else is dried up. We are currently suffering more than a 6 inch deficit in our rainfall for the year and the Housatonic is dropping quickly. The Naugatuck River has been stocked with salmon but with no water, it’s not much of a challenge.

Hopefully, we’ll soon get the much needed rain.

Ron M.

 

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

From Ron Merly’s desk, May 24th

Mark_Boland_Housy_BrownIMG_2013

From Ron Merly’s desk, May 24th

As I write this report, the state as well as all of New England, could use a few good rain storms. The rain deficit is currently more than 2″ and all of the smaller streams are very low. The Housatonic has just been re-stocked for the Memorial Day weekend but there is a heavy algae bloom occurring due to the water levels dropping so quickly at this time of the year. The upper Naugatuck was recently re-stocked as well but is running extremely low. The Farmington has been consistently stocked and is loaded with trout but the water is very clear and flows are down, making it difficult to catch fish during the day. Mornings and evenings are your best bet but if you are there during the day, fish nymphs unless you see fish rising.

I spent some time up in Vermont this past week and had all intentions of fishing the lower Black River in Cavendish. It was literally puddles so I did not fish. There were some very nice fish in some of the holes, and yet, if I hooked them, the fish would not have any water for them to run, which is why I decided not fish.

I also fished the Pomperaug River recently which is prone to low flows but the river is extremely low at present (I urge all of you to go and see it). The Connecticut Siting Council recently approved the construction of the Towantic Power Plant in Oxford. I can’t begin to imagine how they will be drawing more than 1 million gallons of water out of that river system annually and what condition it will be in during a drought such as this. But it now makes perfect sense to me as to why Governor Malloy merged the Department of Energy with the Department of Environmental Protection a few years back. DEEP’s hands were completely tied on this issue. I suggest writing the legislature on the subject of conflict of interest within these departments being merged as one, using the construction of a Power plant that we do not need as a perfect example. Remember, this affects the Pomperaug River, Sprain Brook, the Weekeepeemee River, the Nonewaug River, the Little River, and the Naugatuck River, the entire Housatonic River estuary as well as Long Island Sound. Power plants are notorious for attracting invasive species due to the warm water outflow.

Newtown recently appealed to Aquarion to pipe water from the Easton Reservoir over to Newtown obviously because they are aware that the power plant will make water scarce in that area. Luckily, it was denied by DEEP but watch out for more of these requests. Meanwhile, the future of the Mill in Easton (Running Brook Farm) hangs in the balance.

Poaching also remains rampant this year. If you witness poachers, call the state hotline, 800-842-4357.  I know we’ve all done it with little results but if they receive hundreds of calls, maybe something might change.

Wishing I had better news for the report,

Ron Merly