March 2022 Newsletter

ADK TU Chapter Meeting:  Doug Lyons on “Fishing the Battenkill: Approach, Pattern & Presentation” – Wednesday, March 23, 7P via Zoom.

In anticipation of the Second Home Rivers Open, Doug Lyons will share his extensive experience and savvy as a seasoned fly fisherman who fishes the ‘kill and nearby streams regularly. Doug, who has a camp just up the road from the famous “spring hole”, is currently writing a book on fishing the Battenkill for Stackpole. An ardent conservationist and supporter of the Battenkill Home Rivers Initiative, Doug has been a key figure in the Battenkill Watershed Alliance which has been responsible for numerous successful habitat restoration projects, especially on the VT side. I will send out a zoom link on Monday March 21.


President’s Message:

Greetings Adirondack TU chapter members and friends! It’s been a while (September 2021) since we sent out our last newsletter. A year ago, we were coming out of another post-holiday surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. And yet, with the arrival of vaccines, it also felt hopeful.  The days lengthened, the first crocuses made their appearance, and as spring arrived it seemed that we were very possibly on our way back to some semblance of pre-pandemic normalcy. Alas, while we might have been ready to be done with the virus, it clearly wasn’t done with us. First Delta at the end of the summer and, more recently, the more contagious Omicron have caused us yet again to delay plans for getting together in person. For the third year, we cancelled our annual conservation banquet. Meanwhile, we are all holding our breath and hoping that this spring will bring a more sustained – and sustainable – “reopening” including in person chapter meetings and other activities. Meanwhile, the core mission and work of our chapter – cold water conservation – has not been delayed or deterred! In fact, we accomplished a lot over the past several months as you will read in John Braico’s update on our conservation efforts in recent months and plans for work in the coming months.

The Battenkill Home Rivers Initiative is now in its third year of successful and now financially self-sustaining operation under the able leadership of Jacob Fetterman. More recently, TU national has rolled out its new Priority Waters program which prioritizes conservation efforts in rivers and watersheds in which native and wild trout populations can be most successfully supported and sustained. In New York, the DEC’s new trout regs seek to reduce stocking and expand wild trout fisheries offering us new opportunities for collaboration. And though most people associate “infrastructure” with roads and bridges, the large infrastructure bill passed in congress this past year earmarks billons of dollars for trout friendly conservation through mine clean-ups, dam removals, and culvert installation and repair. So despite all the challenging news we’ve been faced with lately, some good stuff has been happening! Finally, for those of you looking for good reads to get you through March mud season, I can recommend two. The first is Stronghold: One Man’s Quest to save the World’s Wild Salmon (2019 Random House) by Tucker Malarkey, a fascinating story of how a snake loving neuro-atypical boy Guido Rahr came to champion, against all odds, the preservation of wild Pacific salmonids in Russian Siberia. The second is Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter (2018 Chelsea Green) by Ben Goldfarb. Turns out they matter a lot for cold water conservation! Hope to see some of you streamside soon.


2nd Annual Battenkill Home Rivers Open: April 1 through May 30!


Like last year, this is a hybrid fishing tournament and raffle in which various activities (including picking up trash, catching big fish, or participation in riparian buffer plantings!) earn you extra entries for the drawing. The grand prize is a 9 ft., 5 wt. Orvis Helios/Mirage fly rod, reel, and line outfit. Other great prizes include half-day guided trips on local rivers, flies, and more! Our first 75 registrants at (or above) $30 will also receive a TU Home Rivers Open baseball cap.


All proceeds from the event will support TU's restoration work in the Battenkill, Mettowee, Hoosic, and Walloomsac watersheds. The event page should go live on March 21st, so stay tuned!


ALSO: Mark your calendars on April 30 for the all day Fly Fishing Festival in Arlington, VT at the town park. Food, drink, fly casting and fly tying demos, conservation exhibits and info. Bring your waders and your rod – Hendrickson’s might be hatching if we’re lucky!



Conservation Update – John Braico


  • DEC/TU Priority Waters – DEC names Battenkill Watershed as first joint priority for Region 5 given the demonstrated merit of USFS, USF&W, TU/Battenkill Watershed Alliance habitat related projects over past boosting wild trout populations on mainstem and key tribs. In response, TU partners will propose a 5 year plan to rely on strategic additions of large wood to boost Wild Quality fishing opportunities on the mainstem & on key tribs using large wood additions as well as reconnecting miles of fragmented wild trout populations (brook & brown trout) on tribs, restoring ground water inflows, and expanding miles of floodplain connected well-treed riparian buffers to protect against increased flooding and warming from climate change.


  • Projects on tap for 2022 – 1) Battenkill @ Black Ck 2021 project – in April plant more trees on bankfull bench, in July finish excavating deep pool at 2021 toe wood project & add grade control to sustain best trout friendly pool depth. 2) Camden Ck – entire 2021 project is fine & DEC finds it will meet criteria for Wild Quality; in 2021 we will work upstream with strategic large wood additions (adding habitat while trapping excess sediments as well as restoring an unstable segment with toe wood and grade controls. 3) Battenkill at Battenkill State Forest – survey and install large wood to restore habitat quality. 4) Conduct two geomorphic surveys: one above the Battenkill Campground and 1 or 2 between Pooks Bridge and the Shushan Covered bridge. In both cases, the aims are to restore habitat, stream functions, mitigate temps while boosting Wild Quality fisheries. Additional work by TU’s Battenkill Home Rivers Initiative is planned for the VT half of the watershed. All HRI projects are in partnership with USF&W, USFS, Washington Co & Bennington Co SWCD, Battenkill Watershed Assoc., with active support & participation of 3 TU chapters: ADK, Clear Water & SW VT.


Volunteer Opportunities:


Yes, Spring is coming and with it, a number of opportunities to get outside and help the cause. Below is a list provided by Jacob Fetterman, Project Coordinator for the Battenkill Home Rivers Initiative:


  • Trash Cleanup – Saturday April 2 at 9am. Time and location TBA.

This year, TU will be partnering with Casella Waste Management to clean up public access areas throughout the Battenkill watershed. We are still sorting through details with Casella and will announce additional information by March 4th.

Following the cleanup, we hope to host a small gathering at the Argyle Brewery in Cambridge. This will also provide an opportunity for Home Rivers Open Participants to pick up their hats!

Call or email me, Dick Osborne, to sign up: 518-598-4380,


  • Streamside Plantings

We have two opportunities on April 23rd, as part of TU's 100 Plantings Initiative. The first is at 9:30am. We will be planting 150 trees/shrubs at the site of the Skellie project on the Battenkill. In the afternoon (1pm), there will be a second planting along Juniper Swamp Brook.

Please RSVP for one or both plantings online - April 23rd Morning Planting or April 23rd Afternoon Planting.

  • *Jacob is also looking for interested volunteers to routinely care for plantings. To survive a hot summer, the plants may need to be watered once a week or once every other week. If weeds or grasses begin to grow up, around the bareroot plants, they should be trimmed back so the new plantings can get adequate sunlight. To sign up, contact Jacob Fetterman at:


** PLEASE DONATE ONLINE to help support our local conservation work! **


With our usual annual conservation banquet cancelled for the second year, this is our primary means of fundraising to support TU’s local conservation work. Please visit our Facebook page (“Trout Unlimited Adirondack Chapter”) to link to our online fundraising site for the HRI. Or link direct - Thank you in advance!


A final word:                                          


Because the future remains uncertain and we do not know exactly when it will be safe to meet in person for chapter meetings, banquets, and other activities – hopefully soon! – we need to stay in touch with each other and keep the chapter and TU’s important work alive and moving forward. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email or my cell if you have questions, comments, suggestions, or just want to check in.


Stay healthy and safe everyone! Hope to see you on the water!