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Environmental issues put rivers at risk

Ron Merly, holding a nice Atlantic salmon from the Naugatuck River, says, “Do not let the state take this fishery from us!”

Ron Merly, holding a nice Atlantic salmon from the Naugatuck River, says, “Do not let the state take this fishery from us!”

The trout season has officially ended except for the designated TMAs. Opening day has been switched to the 2nd Saturday in April this year so mark your calendars. A few of the open areas on the Farmington have been producing some beautiful browns for those fishing nymphs in these very cold temperatures however most of the state’s streams remain icy or slushy.

The Kensington Hatchery is up on the block for the third time so write letters immediately. The comment period is nearly over. The Kensington Hatchery produces all of the eggs used in SIC and TIC and is the only hatchery in the state capable of raising Seeforellen brown trout and Atlantic salmon. The loss would be a travesty for Connecticut’s fisheries and would also set precedent for more cuts to the state fisheries rather than increasing monies allocated to DEEP.

While you are writing, you might consider writing the Connecticut Siting Council in opposition of an enormous power plant that is proposed very close to the Oxford Airport. This plant will save the average Connecticut customer within a 10 mile radius of the plant approximately $35 annually as most of the power will be sold to residents in R.I. and Mass. The cost of this plant will be six trout streams, the lower estuary of the Housatonic and Long Island Sound.

The proposed Towantic Power Plant will draw more than a million gallons of water annually from the Pomperaug River which is formed by the Nonewaug and Weekeepeemee Rivers as well as Sprain Brook. Currently, these streams run very low during summer months. The plant will be built right near the headwaters of the Little River which is right on the fringes of over development as it sits. All four of those streams contain wild and holdover trout. The grey water or outflow from the plant is proposed to release all of this very warm and not very clean water into the Naugatuck River upstream of where a 6.5 million dollar fish bypass was recently completed. The Naugatuck flows into the lower estuary of the Housatonic a relatively short distance downstream. The estuary contains the largest wintering over populations of striped bass in the northeast. This would be a huge step backward for Connecticut as the Naugatuck and Housatonic have come such a long way ecologically.

Remember, there has been nothing invented by humans since the dawn of time that does not break or fail. what will happen when this plant breaks or fails. Would the damage take decades to repair itself or will the damage be permanent?? Either way, this is not good for Connecticut.

– Ron Merly

Working to save Kensington Hatchery

The Connecticut Council of Trout Unlimited is fighting to stop cuts in the budget proposed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy that would eliminate Kensington Hatchery.

Save-the-HatcheryThe following action alert was sent by the council:

This year’s proposed budget calls for the removal of $195,000 specified as the amount necessary to operate the Kensington Hatchery

The following are impacts of the loss of this hatchery:

Valuable genetic traits defining Connecticut River salmon will be lost forever.

Obtaining eggs for the Trout in the Classroom may be more difficult

The Salmon-in-Schools program, sponsored by the Connecticut River Salmon Association, would be terminated after this school year which would effect 60-70 schools.

Up to 7000 Atlantic Salmon fishing trips in Connecticut will be lost with the end of the brood stocking program.

The unique Seeforellen Brown trout will be lost to Connecticut anglers.

Click here for instructions on what you can tell your membership to do to help. You can copy and paste the information to your own website or in the body of an email (don’t forget the links!) or simply share the link on your Facebook Page, On Twitter, or in an email.

Also, Jim Glowienka will be at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford to testify at the public hearing on Monday, March 2nd at 6:30. We encourage anyone who can to come and stand with TU on this issue.

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION: OPENING DAY OF TROUT SEASON WILL BE APRIL 11TH!

Alicea Charamut

Secretary, CT Council Trout Unlimited

President, Farmington Valley Trout Unlimited

 

Open up to tube flies Feb. 17

Tube-flies-Feb.-2015

Salmon fishing expert Ben Bilello will open our eyes to tube flies at the next Nutmeg TU meeting Tuesday, Feb. 17, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Port 5, 69 Brewster St, Bridgeport.

European anglers have used tube flies for decades. Despite their advantages, tubes are much less frequently used in North America. As time goes on, tube flies are becoming more popular in our fresh and saltwater fisheries. This presentation will outline when, where and how to use tube flies.

Topics include:

  • Tube fly advantages
  • Comparisons of tube/hook sizes and weights
  • Tube fly styles
  • Fishing surface and subsurface tubes
  • Hook selection
  • Rigging
  • Tube fly and hook storage
  • Tube fly tying tools and materials
  • Tying tips and techniques

When he’s not behind a set of drums in a concert hall, jazz club, or recording studio, Ben Bilello can be found either on the water or behind the vise. While he’s an avid trout fisherman and fly tyer, Ben’s true fly fishing and tying passion is the Atlantic salmon. Ben has pursued wild Atlantic salmon in New Brunswick, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Russia; landlocked salmon in New York and Vermont, and broodstock Atlantic salmon in Connecticut.

A collection of Ben’s classic and artistic salmon flies are featured in Michael Radencich’s book “Classic Salmon Fly Patterns: Over 1700 Patterns From the Golden Age of Tying,” the largest illustrated compendium of Atlantic salmon flies published to date.

Ben’s work can be seen at his website www.benbilello.com/salmonflies and on his salmon fly blog www.theleaper.blogspot.com.

Good fishing rings in 2015

Nutmeg TU member Jim Lynch recently caught his first Atlantic salmon.

There are still a good amount of peanut bunker out in the harbors and anglers are catching the occasional striper and yet, the better action has been in the lower estuary of the Housatonic. Atlantic herring have arrived in good numbers and those can be caught using a sabiki rig on an ultra-light spin fishing set-up. Herring are an excellent food source as well as being great striper bait.

The upper Housatonic has been blown out due to all of the rain in recent weeks and is now coming back down to a fishable level. The Farmington continues to give up a steady number of larger rainbows and browns which have been bulking up for the winter months. The Atlantic salmon fishing in the Naugy continues to thrill anglers and I recently fished there with fellow Nutmeggers John Kovach and Jim Lynch, who caught his first Atlantic Salmon.

John Kovach and I also joined Mianus T.U. at their annual New Year’s outing on the Norwalk River for some fly fishing. Despite the cold temps, more than 30 anglers showed up and many browns and bows were caught in a few different sections of the Norwalk. A few holdovers and some beautiful wild browns. I started the New Year off with a 6 inch wild Norwalk River brown and that was a great start to the year!!

Tight lines!

Ron Merly