Didymo confirmed on the West Branch

Didymo2

DEEP has confirmed the presence of a bloom of didymo on the West Branch of the Farmington River  that has created a thick layer on much of the stream bottom in Riverton between the Route 20 bridge, near the former Hitchcock Chair Factory, and the confluence with the Still River (approximately 1 km downstream)  and along the eastern bank of the river for approximately 200 meters below the confluence.

The angling community should be mindful that didymo can be transported from one section of the river to another on their clothing and gear. Especially on boots and waders.

What is Didymo?

Didymo is an invasive freshwater algae. During blooms, didymo can form thick mats on the bottoms of rivers and streams.

Why is Didymo bad?

Didymo not only reduces the recreational and aesthetic value of a river, but can also be devastating to it’s ecology. The thick mats produced by this algae cover the rocks and disrupt the life cycle of insects.  No bugs = no food for trout.

What can you do?

You can do you part by following a few simple steps:

CHECK – Before leaving a section of stream, remove all obvious clumps of algae and plant material from fishing gear, waders, clothing & footwear, canoes & kayaks, and anything else that has been in the water and look for hidden clumps. Leave them at the site.

CLEAN: Soak/spray & scrub boats and all other “hard” items for at least one minute in either very hot (140°F) water, a 2% bleach solution, or a 5% dishwashing detergent solution. Absorbent materials such as clothes and felt soles on waders should be soaked for at least 40 minutes in very hot water (140°F), or 30 minutes in hot water (115°F) with 5% dishwashing detergent. Freezing thoroughly will also kill didymo.

DON’T WEAR FELT! – Didymo is harder to remove from absorbent items such as felt soles. PLEASE DO NOT WEAR FELT SOLES!

TELL YOUR FRIENDS – The word must be passed along to everyone you know who uses the river. For more information including how you can identify and report didymo blooms, you can download the following documents issued by DEEP:

2013 Didymo Update

Didymo Informational Brochure

Kensington Hatchery Funded!

Great news! The CT biannual appropriations bill HR 6350 was passed by both the House and Senate. The bill includes the item of $149,910 for Kensington Hatchery operations. Thanks to everyone who called and wrote to legislators on this issue. It made a difference!

WHAT’S THE NEWS ON STATE WIDE WATER PLANNING?

water drop

UConn’s announcement that it was seeking additional supplies of water for its Storrs Campus in November of 2012, stirred up a bit of controversy and and outcry for better planning for our water resources in Connecticut. So what has happened? First of all, State Representative John Hampton convened a Water Summit in early November of 2013. A large panel made up of several legislators, government officials, industry representatives and conservation organizations met at the LOB to discuss state wide water planning and next steps. Sub-comittees were formed out of this Summit and met several times since the first of this year. The Summit will reconvene to discuss findings at a date TBD.

The University of Connecticut hosted the Strategic Water Resources Planning Conference and Workshop in February of 2014. The conference was attended by over 100 legistlators, government officials, industry representatives and conservation organizations. The event was extremely well facilitated and informative. It is our hope that the momentum contines and we see some progress in this year’s short legistlative session.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

The Water Planning Council already has the structure and involvement of necessary government agencies and stakeholders to move forward with water resource planning. However, it does not have the authoriy and resources to accomplish this. It is now up to the legislature and our Governor to grant these things to the Water Planning Council. It is up to the people of Connecticut to let them know that this is what we want.