Working with The CT DEP
Several years ago the FRAA was stocking fish in the Upper TMA of the Farmington River. These fish were purchased from club funds and donations to our fish fund. The fish were larger trout, typically 12-14 inches, and had number tags attached to their dorsal fin. The club tracked these fish for a few years and from reports from anglers many of these fish were caught and released more than once. They also exhibited typical fishing growth - sometimes they grew several inches between catchs only to shrink again.
While this program certainly made the fishing in the TMA better by increasing the number of larger fish, it had no long term effect. Consequently, in the last three years the club has been working with the CT DEP, especially the Burlington Fish Hatchery, to make significant inprovements to the fish rearing capability of the DEP. Working with several other clubs the FRAA donated materials and manpower support to make improvements in the hatchery. One improvement was to increase the holding capacity for larger fish, thereby allowing the DEP to keep fish longer in the hatchery before stocking them into the TMA.
In the Spring of 2004 the FRAA teamed with other clubs and erected protective netting on three ponds. Several ponds had been completed the year before. The netting prevents predatory birds from eating the trout in the hatchery ponds. As a result of this netting fish loss due to predators has been cut dramatically and hatchery fish population has increased significantly. All which means better fish and more fish, not only for the Farmington River but for all rivers and lakes in Connecticut.
Your donations to the Fish Fund help support this type of club activity.
Making the Center Pole
Twelve eyebolts are attached to an 8 inch diameter PVC pipe. A plastic coated wire cable is attached to each eyebolt using standard cable clamps.
Setting the Pole in the Pond
The Hatchery Manager, David Zadrozny, places the pole in the center of the pool. David went into the pool in "hatchery" waders to prevent any foreign bacteria or germs contaminating the water.
Centering the Pole
The pole is centered in the pond and the guy wires are positioned around the perimeter of the pond. Each guy wire is tensioned to set the wire droop the same. Netting will later be placed over the pole and wires.
Attaching the Guy Wires
Each guy wire is attahced to a fence pole around the pool. The guy wires will keep the pole upright and will also support the netting.
Tour of the Hatchery
David Zadrozny shows the group other hatchery ponds. This pond is one of the large open ponds that have been recently dredged to increase the holding capacity of the pond.
The volunteers who helped put up the netting are members of several clubs, the FRAA, CFFA, and TU-Farmington Valley Chapter.