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Watershed News March 2019

President’s Message
Hi Everybody,
Spring is on it’s way – it really is, even if it does not The mission of the WRWA is to protect and preserve
feel like it. The days are getting longer and the sun is our watershed. We can only do this with your help.
higher in the sky. you are our citizen science people, watch-dogs of the
watershed. When you see something of concern, say
Plus the Spring River clean up is just around the
something to a board member. Better yet consider
corner. Some other activities will be the Annual meet-
being on the board and making a difference. We are
ing, film festival, fly fishing clinic, canoe cruise, and
going through some changes on the WRWA board this
more. Please consider helping out at any of these
year. If you feel like getting more involved, then join
us on the board.
Our watershed is a beautiful area. A place to go for
Our members are our most important assets. Without
entertainment, hiking, water sports, or just to get away
you we could not accomplish all that we do. Thank
and relax. Imagine sitting on the edge of the water,
listening to the flow of the current and watching a
small part of nature unfold before you. It may wash Bill Rose
away some of the stress of everyday life and give you WRWA President
a movement of relaxation.

In This Issue
President’s Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Fish Ladder Open House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Fishing on the Westfield River . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Spring River Cleanup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Wild & Scenic Film Festival On-Tour . . . . . . . . . . 2
From Environmental Science to English, Interning
with the Westfield River Watershed Association 3
WRWA Annual Meeting – Save the Date! . . . . . . 3
Monofilament Fishing Line Collectors . . . . . . . . . 4
Annual Financial Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Officers and Directors for 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Fish Ladder Open House place you would like to share, then please e-mail me
and I will include them in future newsletters.
by Bill Rose
My e-mail address is
The fish ladder open house will be held on May 11th
from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (it’s located off Front Street in
West Springfield). Last year we had excellent weather Spring River Cleanup
and a record attendance. It gave visitors the chance by Mark Damon
to see more fish both in the entrance to the ladder and
We’re coming up to that time of the year again –
in the viewing pit. Walk up the path the fish take to
WRWA’s Spring River Cleanup Day is scheduled for
reach the top of the ladder.
April 27 (keep an eye on the WRWA website as this
Comments by visitors were “We never knew the date may be changed). As we have in the past, we’ll
ladder existed in this area.” The canal walkway and meet at 9:00 at the parking lot off Meadow Street in
platform offer fantastic views of the river. You can see Westfield (next to the new bridge), where we’ll divide
the fish in the canal as they make their way upstream. up into groups who will disperse to sites up and down
see the wooden dam (that’s about 100 years old!) at the river and on its tributaries. We usually finish
the base of the fish ladder. about 1:00.
Put this date on your calendar and plan to attend the Wear clothes that can get wet and dirty – this is some-
open house this year. times a messy job. Bags and gloves will be supplied,
SEE YOU THERE. and any trash we collect will be picked up from the
sites the next week. For more information, contact
Mark Damon at or (413)
Fishing on the Westfield River 977-1577. Hope to see you there!
by Bill Rose
I have been fishing on the Westfield river for close to Wild & Scenic Film Festival On-Tour
40 years and have observed many changes during that
by Marissa Eisnor
time. I would like to share two places with you that I
have found that offer good fishing. Join the Westfield River Watershed Association
as they host The Wild & Scenic Film Festival On-
Start with traveling west from the center of West-
Tour in Westfield, Massachusetts on April 22nd at
field on Route 20. When you reach where the power
7:00 p.m. in Westfield State University’s Dever Stage.
lines go over the river. you can park off the road and
This event is free and open to the public. Come cel-
walk down to the river. Turn left and follow the path
ebrate our environment through approximately two
to where the rapids begin. This is an excellent place
hours of short films which will inspire and remind us
where stocked Rainbow Trout hang out. This is only
about the importance and beauty of our planet through
good in the spring when the water temperature is
science, true stories, and adventure.
below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water tem-
perature reaches over that it is too warm for the trout, Each January in Nevada City, CA., the South Yuba
but you can catch small mouth bass! River Citizens League (SYRCL) holds the main
Wild & Scenic Film Festival over 5-days to feature
Under the Turnpike bridge that cross Route 20 is
150+ award-winning films and 100+ guest speakers,
another spot to catch trout in the spring and Small
celebrities, and activists. The SYRCL is a watershed
Mouth Bass in the summer.
advocacy group who has been organizing this festival
Those are two examples – I will talk about more places for 17 years, inspiring people to come together and
I like to fish in future newsletters. If you have a favorite
  Westfield River Watershed Association News  2  
advocate for the Earth through outdoor adventure, appreciation
film, music, workshops, and of wildlife, and everything in
guest speakers. WHERE ACTIVISM GETS INSPIRED between. These films will take us
April 22nd all over the nation to reveal oth-
The Wild & Scenic Film Festival 6-10PM
erwise hidden beauty, incredible
On-Tour is a selection of films

people, and issues that need to

6:30 – 8:15 P.M.

from SYRCL’s festival, bringing 13 FILMS • Raffle

be told.
them to over 200 communities GROUNDSWELL

worldwide. Inspiring activism Ar t work by Lawrence Lander

Light refreshments will be served

through film, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival On- and there will be raffle prize opportunities at the
Tour is able to grow the worldwide community of event. Donations are accepted and appreciated with
environmental groups and advocates. The Westfield a suggested donation of $3.00 for students and $5.00
River Watershed Association has selected 11 films for the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., showings
to show, varying from water environment stories, start at 7:00 p.m..

From Environmental Science to English, Interning with the Westfield River

Watershed Association
by Marissa Eisnor world after college. As an English intern with the
WRWA, I have been helping to organize the Wild
If you asked an Environmental Science major at
& Scenic On-Tour Film Festival by writing press
Westfield State University (WSU) what an intern-
releases, exploring promotion strategies, reaching out
ship with the Westfield River Watershed Association
for sponsorship, and general planning tasks. This has
(WRWA) would sound like, general answers would
given me event planning, writing, and communication
be something along the idea of river data collection
experience, things that my major may not necessarily
and analyzing. However, asking an English minor at
teach me. I also plan to create a growth and ideas plan
WSU, an internship with the WRWA would sound a
for the WRWA which will be research compiled from
lot different.
different watershed organizations and general ideas to
I happen to be both an Environmental Science major help the WRWA continue to grow as an organization.
and English minor, interning through WSU’s English
I feel lucky to have been given this opportunity and
look forward to continue to learn as I work towards
I was fortunate to have the ability to combine my completing this internship.
fields of study with the help of Dr. Michael Filas
(English Department, WSU) and Dr. Brian Conz
(G.P.S. Department, WSU & 1st Vice President, WRWA Annual Meeting – Save
WRWA) who helped create this position with me. In the Date!
my last year of undergraduate studies, I was searching WRWA’s annual meeting, at which we’ll elect board
for a way to connect my interests of the environment members for the 2019-2020 year, is scheduled for
and writing, as it is a career goal of mine to become Thursday, May 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Westfield Ath-
some sort of environmental writer after graduation. enaeum in downtown Westfield. We’re working on
This internship so far has given me more experience finding a speaker for the event and may also include
than expected, which I am grateful for as gradua- a pre-meeting excursion to the Esplanade Park along
tion is approaching faster each day. Anything I learn the river near the Rt. 10/202 bridges. Check the web-
now is one more thing to help me in the professional site for the details as they become available.
  Westfield River Watershed Association News  3  
Monofilament Fishing Line Collectors
by Phillip Hall
Monofilament line is a commonly used high-density
nylon fishing line. If left in the environment it won’t
decompose for centuries, and poses a hazard to wild-
life (via both entanglement and ingestion) and boat
propellers, so efforts to recycle it are becoming more
common. Having read about such efforts in the Con-
necticut Department of Energy and Environmental
Protection magazine, I decided to start a local pro-
gram. I’ve now built more than a dozen plastic tube
collection units (with WRWA providing funding for
four of those units) that have been placed at western
Massachusetts locations, including the Rt. 20 pullout
in Huntington, Congamond Lakes in Southwick, and
Hampton Ponds State Park in Westfield. And there
are more on the way as I’ve continued to get approval
and/or requests for installations at additional boat
launches and fishing spots around western Mass.
The collection sites can be used to deposit lures and
hooks as well as monofilament line, and are con-
venient to use since they’re located where people
fish – no special trip to a recycling location needed!
Volunteer monitors, including WRWA volunteers, will
As a Life Scout with Southwick Troop 114, the
help by regularly collecting discarded material from
monofilament line collectors are part of my William
some of the units.
T. Hornaday Conservation Project. In 1914 Dr. Wil-
You can help out in other ways too, by: liam Hornaday created an awards program called the
(1) b eing line conscious – since lighter-weight line Wildlife Protection Medal, to challenge and recognize
breaks more easily, a heavier line might be more Americans who worked constructively for wildlife
appropriate; if fishing in a rocky area, consider conservation and habitat protection. After his death
using a long leader to prevent cutting the line in 1937, the award was renamed in Dr. Hornaday’s
against the rocks, honor and became a Boy Scout Award. The funda-
mental purpose of the awards program today is to
(2) k eeping your line in the boat – be careful to pre-
encourage learning by the participants and to increase
vent your line from blowing out of the boat, help-
public awareness of natural resources conserva-
ing to prevent costly propeller repairs and injuries
tion, while practicing sound stewardship of natural
to aquatic species, and
resources and environmental protection – which fits
(3) c leaning up – anytime you find loose fishing line, perfectly with the scouting heritage of respect for
pick it up, cut it into short lengths to prevent the outdoors.
wildlife or bird entanglements, and recycle it or
My project also includes building 10 bog bridges on
discard it properly in a trash container.
a wetland trail and stewarding an invasive species
clean-up for water chestnut in western Mass.
  Westfield River Watershed Association News  4  
2018 Total Income $11,108.34
Annual Financial Summary $320.34
by Mike Young 2018 Total Income $11,108.34 Grants, CLF Settlements
WRWA is a 503(c)(3) non-profit organization. $3,512 $176 Memberships/Donations
Total organizational assets at the end of 2018 were $320.34 CD Interest

$25,590.30, with most of those funds held in Certifi- Sales (Raffle, Magnets)
cate of Deposit accounts. Total revenue for 2018 was Grants, CLF Settlements
$11,108.34, with $4,500 of that total from a Conserva- $3,512 Memberships/Donations
CD Interest
tion Law Foundation settlement, $2,600 from a grant
Sales (Raffle, Magnets)
from the Wild & Scenic Westfield River Committee, $7,100
plus a little over $3,500 in membership dues and
donations. Total expenses for 2017 were $6,678.32,
about the same as for 2017 minus the large donation
to the Save North Pond campaign that was made last
year. Categories for the expenses shown in the related
2018 Total Expenses $6,678.32
pie chart are the same as last year, and include profes-
sional fees (one intern), printing and postage, admin- $640
istrative expenses (supplies, PO box rental, filing $708 Printing, Postage
fees, Waite Award, meeting expenses, general liability 2018 Total Expenses $6,678.32 Admin. Expenses
insurance), program expenses (Teaching with Trout, $203.21 Memberships
Professional fees,
symposium, two river cleanups, two film festival $640 $1,176.51
screenings, fly-fishing clinic, Watershed Blitz), and $3,980.60 $708 Contractors
membership dues and donations to other groups (Mass Admin. Expenses

Rivers Alliance, CT Valley Conservancy, US Canoe $203.21 Memberships

Professional fees,
Association, sponsorship of a Stream Explorers pro- $1,176.51 Contractors
gram at the Becket Elementary School). Overall, this $3,980.60 Program Expenses
Assets as of Dec. 31, 2017 Assets as of Dec. 31, 2018
translates to a net gain for the year of $4,430.02. Checking $6,804.52 Checking $2,914.20
Both revenue and expenses were broadly similar to CDs $14,355.76 CDs $22,676.10
2017 (with the exception of the large donation to Total $21,160,06 Total $25,590,30
the Save North Pond campaign), with membership
Watershed.” In the past those funds have supported
dues and donations down about 15% from last year’s
the storm drain labeling program, the donation to the
amount. Unfortunately, the canoe cruise had to be
Save North Pond campaign, and minor expenses for
cancelled in 2018 due to extremely low water levels,
river cleanups. This year, those funds also supported
so there was no program revenue to report this year.
a donation of $160 to Phillip Hall of Granville, who’s
Offsetting those declines in income, expenses for pro-
been constructing and deploying monofilament fish-
fessional fees/contractors were notably lower this year
ing-line receptacles that are now present at a number
than last as Board members have taken on the duties
of popular fishing locations within the Watershed (see
that Lynn Bannon had been doing and we sponsored
related article in this newsletter!).
only one intern at WSU in 2018. Of the monies held
in CDs, about $8,100 is “restricted use” funds that Overall, WRWA is in very good shape financially,
have resulted from CLF settlements and must be spent with typical income and expenses approximately bal-
on “the environmental protection and restoration of, anced and a good reserve of funds that can be used for
or other environmental benefit to, the Westfield River future projects.

  Westfield River Watershed Association News  5  

Officers and Directors for 2018
President: Bill Rose 39 Sunset Terrace Feeding Hills 01030 786-0195
First Vice President: Brian Conz 999 General Knox Rd., Russell, MA 01071 572-8084
Second Vice President: Allan Ouimet 16 Russell Rd. Westfield 01085 539-0964
Secretary: Mark Damon 297 Western Ave Westfield 01085 977-1577
Treasurer: Mike Young 721 West Rd. Westfield 01085 562-8498
Ann Barone 3 Delancey St, Westfield 01085 374-9799
Tim Judy 37 Mountain Rd. Holyoke 01040 569-9018
Ron Lucassen 39 Rachael Terrace Westfield 01085 568-4252
John A. Pelli 32 Laro Road, Westfield 01085 562-0182
Aaron Reyes Northampton, MA 01060 572-8380
Diane Snyder 6 Park St. Westfield, Ma 562-6126
Phillip Sousa 29 Yankee Circle Westfield 01085 568-3982
Henry Warchol 2 Sackville Road Westfield 01085 562-3467
Honorary Directors:
Dan Call 78 Granville Road, Unit 10, Westfield 01085 364-0993

For more information on WRWA’s activities, check our website at

  Westfield River Watershed Association News  6  

PO Box 1764
Westfield, MA  01086-1764

Westfield River Watershed
In This Issue
Association Newsletter President’s Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
March 2019
Fish Ladder Open House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Fishing on the Westfield River . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Spring River Cleanup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Wild & Scenic Film Festival On-Tour . . . . . . . . . . 2
From Environmental Science to English, Interning
with the Westfield River Watershed Association 3
WRWA Annual Meeting – Save the Date! . . . . . . 3
Monofilament Fishing Line Collectors . . . . . . . . . 4
Annual Financial Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Officers and Directors for 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

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