If you have been reading this blog for a while, you may remember some posts about some great work that the Deerfield River Watershed’s Trout Unlimited Chapter (DRWTU) has done.
If not, check out these posts to get caught up (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3). They have worked to prove what many anglers already had an inkling of: There are wild spawning fish in the Deerfield River, and it is likely that the crazy flow release schedule is harming the health of the river.
The short of it is that the DRWTU has been named the top chapter this year by the national TU organization. This is no small feat in a country filled with dedicated sportsmen carrying out many great projects. There are over 420 chapters with over 300,000 members across the U.S. As a result of the DRWTU’s efforts, alongside collaborations with state, federal, and local organizations and volunteers, they achieved the unexpected: They were awarded the “Golden Trout” award from Trout Unlimited.
Chris Wood, President of TU said, “We are a community that cares deeply about our local rivers and we’re willing to roll up our sleeves to ensure those rivers are in better shape for our children and grandchildren. The Deerfield River chapter exemplifies those ideals.”
I myself have been proud to have participated in several of the volunteer based projects (that’s me with the silly orange backpack in the Insta post!), and before I go patting myself on the back, we still have a lot of work to do.
If you are interested in helping out reach out to the DRWTU, and come help out this fall and winter for further spawning studies. If you can’t swing that, when you do go fishing, fill out this survey on brown trout caught. If you have been fishing at the Deerfield recently, consider filling out this economic impact survey so that fishing impacts to the local economy can be leveraged for further conservation goals with local politicians!