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Watershed News December 2017

President’s Message
Hi Everybody, line receptacles in designated areas along the river.
We are looking to partner with other organizations to
Another year is coming to an end. The drought ended
get involved with more activities in the watershed.
and it has been a busy year for the Watershed and this
This is where our members can help. If you have
organization. Some of our sponsored activities have
any ideas or know of organizations that might fit our
been the annual Symposium, spring and fall river
agenda please contact a board member. If we all work
clean ups, “Trout in the classroom,” Fish Ladder open
together, this can be an even more exciting year.
house, canoe cruise, and the Fly fishing Clinic. We
also made a donation to the “Save North Pond” proj- The 350 year anniversary of the city of Westfield is
ect on Congamond’s north pond. happening in 2019. If anybody is involved with this
celebration, we’d liked to hear from you.
The coming year is shaping up to be just as exciting,
as we repeat the above mentioned activities and hope Check out our Facebook page and the web site to
to add additional ones. keep informed.
We have been approached to be included in a state I WISH EVERYBODY A SAFE AND HAPPY
wide river guide booklet produced by the Massachu- HOLIDAY SEASON!! SEE YOU NEXT YEAR ON
setts River alliance. THE RIVER!!!
Other projects include a river walk behind the Hun- Bill Rose
tington town hall and the placement of used fishing WRWA President

In This Issue
Fall River Cleanup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Mass Rivers Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Teaching with Trout (Help Needed!) . . . . . . . . . . . 2
The Effort to “Save North Pond” . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Officers and Directors for 2017 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Membership Renewals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Fall River Cleanup Teaching with Trout (Help Needed!)
by Mark Damon by Mike Young
On September 23, in conjunction with the Connecticut WRWA is entering its 17th year of sponsoring aquar-
River Conservancy’s Source-to-Sea cleanup, WRWA ium tanks in local classrooms. We provide the equip-
held its annual fall River Cleanup day. One group ment (30 gallon tank, chiller, filtration system, and
began from Pynchon Point, where the Westfield enters supplies) to the schools that are participating, and the
the Connecticut in Agawam, and collected 40 bags students raise brook trout in those tanks throughout
of trash, along with another 10 bags of recyclables, 5 the winter and spring. This year we’re supporting four
tires, and a large number of nails (which accumulate schools (North Middle and South Middle in Westfield,
on the river bank when the lumber found in construc- Southwick Regional Middle, and Gateway Regional
tion debris rots). That group had 38 volunteers, most Middle in Huntington), with a total of six tanks that
of them Agawam High students. The second group, will be running. The program is coordinated by the
operating out of Westfield, had fewer volunteers, but Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife,
also found less trash (33 bags, along with 2 bags of with the brook trout eggs being spawned at the Roger
recyclables, and 7 tires). The river is gradually getting Reed Fish Hatchery in Palmer. DFW personnel will
cleaner, and its largely due to efforts of our volunteers deliver eggs for all four of our regional schools to
(even the enthusiastic two who got lost on cleanup day us at North Middle in Westfield on the morning of
and wound up in Chicopee – they cleaned a lot from the Friday, January 5 (assuming the weather cooperates).
bank of the Connecticut). Thanks to all who come out We could use a couple of volunteers to transport eggs
and help. We hope to see you this spring for our Earth to other schools – if you’re able to help out, contact
Day cleanup on April 21. me at 413-562-8498 after December 31 or email me
at anytime between now
and the 5th.
Mass Rivers Guide
by Bill Rose The water in the tanks is kept at about 50°F through-
out the winter, with the eggs hatching out in January.
The Massachusetts River Alliance has commis- Students monitor the young fish and begin feeding
sioned Gabby Lawinger “Artist in residence” to them once they’ve exhausted their yolk sacs, ideally
produce a “Mass Rivers Guide” booklet and we were several weeks prior to the February vacation week.
approached to have the Westfield River included By late spring the fish will be 1-2 inches in length and
in this project. I have been in contact with Ms. ready to be released in local streams. Some schools
Lawinger by e-mail, sending her pictures that the have a stream close by where they can do release
board members have of the river. I am also looking activities, while others turn the event into a substan-
for any pictures that our members might have of the tial field trip. North Middle, for example, typically
river or of people or your family enjoying one of our splits the science students into three groups of about
activities on the river. You can e-mail them to me at 30 each, and takes each group on an all-day trip to Sanderson Brook in Chester during late May or early
She is planning on visiting the river sometime June. WRWA has often helped out with related activi-
this winter. ties, including stream flow measurement, identifica-
tion of macro-invertebrates, and tree identification
Together we can make this involvement in the field
on those field trips - another time when we could use
Guide happen.
some volunteer help for this program.

  Westfield River Watershed Association News  2  

The Effort to “Save North Pond”
by Mike Young the Board of Directors voted to put $10,000 of those
funds toward the purchase of the North Pond property
North Pond is the northernmost body of water in the
– the largest such donation we’ve ever made as far as
Congamond Lakes of Southwick, and has been the
I know. If successful, the purchase of this land will
focus of a major campaign to raise funds to purchase
expand one of the largest protected grassland areas in
a property that’s become available along the east
New England – important habitat for a number of bird
side of the pond - the only part of the shoreline that
species. It will also help to protect an underlying aqui-
remains undeveloped. In addition to that shoreline,
fer and will make the shoreline of North Pond more
the property also includes a substantial amount of
accessible to the public. You can follow along on the
grassland and pitch pine woods and is connected to
progress of this effort at the Franklin Land Trust’s
preserved grasslands to the east and south, running
website (,
into Connecticut. The eastern portion of the prop-
where you can also make a donation.
erty was acquired by the MA Division of Fisheries
and Wildlife over the past summer, but the Franklin Alain Peteroy of The Franklin Land Trust writes: “The
Land Trust continues to raise money to purchase the WRWA challenge gift was publicized by our staff at
western portion, which includes the land along the all our public fundraising events since the gift was
lakefront. The current landowner would like to see the received. We had a golf tournament, local band fund-
land conserved and is giving the Franklin Land Trust raisers and restaurant events as well as the Committee
until next summer to raise the funds to make that pur- Restoring Congamond folks that gave us $3000 this
chase before putting the property on the open market. summer to help reach the WRWA challenge. We are
preparing a paper mailing this week and this has been
WRWA has received funds from several legal settle-
the first mailing in quite some time and our plan is
ments arising from actions brought by the Conserva-
to speak to your challenge gift and another $200,000
tion Law Foundation against local businesses in the
matching grant we recently were notified of from the
past decade, including one recent case in Southwick.
Amelia Peabody Foundation. This mailing will be to
Our ability to expend those funds is often somewhat
Southwick residents. We have raised over $8000 since
restricted by the settlement. Past uses have included
your gift in June, many of these donations from folks
substantial funding for the storm drain labeling effort
who heard our “ask” at the events mentioned above so
that we’ve conducted throughout the lower water-
we are almost to our goal for your challenge.”
shed over the past 5 years. Over the past summer,
  Westfield River Watershed Association News  3  
Officers and Directors for 2017
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
Sheryl Becker 142 Beekman Drive, Agawam, MA 01085 374-1921
Timblin 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 On sabbatical, Fall 2017
Phillip Sousa 29 Yankee Circle Westfield 01085 568-3982
Henry Warchol 2 Sackville Road Westfield 01085 562-3467
Honorary Directors:
Dan Call 777 College Highway Southwick 01077 569-9677

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

Membership Renewals
WRWA’s membership year runs from January to While you’re at it, please think about ways you might
December, so it’s time to renew your membership get more involved this year. We’ll be electing a new
for 2018! We’ll be mailing out membership remind- Board of Directors in the spring and are always look-
ers in January, but you can help us save some paper ing for new blood. Or make a New Year’s resolution
and postage by renewing now – and you’ll be able to to volunteer to help out with one of our annual events
deduct your membership dues and any additional con- in 2018 – helping with registration at the River Sym-
tribution on your 2017 taxes if the renewal is made posium or fish ladder open house, or getting into the
before the end of the year. Renewal is easy – just fill thick of things at either the spring or fall river clean-
out the membership form in this newsletter and mail it ups. Be sure to check future newsletters for those
back with your check to: opportunities and more. Best wishes for the holiday
season and throughout 2018!
WRWA memberships
PO Box 1764
Westfield, MA  01085

  Westfield River Watershed Association News  4  

Westfield River Watershed Association
P.O. Box 1764 Westfi eld, Mass. 01086

2018 Membership Application

New or  Renewal? (Note: Memberships run Jan.-Dec. Memberships submitted on Oct. 1 or later will be
credited to the next calendar year.)
Street Address:
City/State/Zip: Phone:
(We send email updates re: events to our members, so it’s very helpful to have your email.)

Our newsletter is delivered via email, although those members who had previously requested actual mail will 
continue to receive it that way unless or until they tell us different.
Please make check payable to “Westfield River Watershed Association, Inc.”
Send to: WRWA Memberships, P.O. Box 1764, Westfield, MA 01086

Membership Categories (check one):

 Individual ($20)     Family ($30)     Student ($10)     Life Member ($300 and up)
 Business ($50-100)     Corporation ($150-500)     Government ($100-300)
Additional Support: If you would like to make an additional contribution 
to support WRWA activities, please note the additional amount here:  $ .
(Note: WRWA is a 501-c-3 charitable organization. You receive no goods or services in exchange for your
membership, just the satisfaction of caring for your watershed. Membership dues and additional donations
are tax-deductible.)
Get Involved: Please fill out this next section, even if you’ve filled it out in previous years, so we might contact
you about becoming actively involved in the following areas:
  River Cleanup   Fishway Monitoring   Water Quality Studies
 Event staffi ng   Open Space Preservation   Membership Development
 Newsletter, Public relations   Serve as Board Member
 Other suggestions? 

Thank you for your support of the Westfi eld River Watershed Association.

  Westfield River Watershed Association News  5  

PO Box 1764
Westfield, MA  01086-1764

Westfield River Watershed Association Newsletter
December 2017

In This Issue
Fall River Cleanup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Mass Rivers Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Teaching with Trout (Help Needed!) . . . . . . . . . . . 2
The Effort to “Save North Pond” . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Officers and Directors for 2017 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Membership Renewals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

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