News & Events
General Meeting - Tuesday, June 15th, 2010
Brian will be giving a "State of the Musconetcong River" report.
Brian Cowden is TU’s Musconetcong Home Rivers Initiative Coordinator, working on the Eastern Conservation staff to protect and restore the “Musky” watershed here in New Jersey. Brian comes to TU from his grassroots chapter (Fred S Burroughs/North Jersey) and state council involvement prior to joining the national staff nearly 2 1/2 years ago.
Note: The June meeting will be held on the third Tuesday which is June 15th
Treasures of the South Branch
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Clinton Red Mill
Fishing on the South Branch
I hope everyone is getting a chance to get out and wet a line this spring. The fishing has been fantastic. Late spring is one of the best times to be on the water. The crowds are dwindling and it is not uncommon to have the entire river to your self after Memorial Day. Just be mindful of water temps as we approach the summer season. Always try to avoid fishing for trout when the water temperature exceeds 70 degrees. Fighting a trout in water 70 degrees or higher can put extreme levels of stress on the fish. In this situation seemingly healthy fish can die shortly after their release. So remember to bring a thermometer with you and use it often.
Central Jersey Trout Unlimited will have a presence at the Treasures of the South Branch Festival, in Clinton New Jersey on June 12th. This festival will feature exhibits on outdoor recreation, the environment and local history. Come out and spend the day with us.
There has been some progress on the Musconetcong River Point Mountain Tract Stream Rehabilitation Project. This project will attempt to improve several hundred yards of habitat in this area. As many of you know, the Point Mountain tract is designated as a Trout Conservation Area. Central Jersey Trout Unlimited has adopted this section of river as our home water. If you are familiar with this piece of water you are probably aware of the long shallow section in the center of this area. This marginal water holds very few fish and acts as a heat sink, heating up the water downstream. Our goal is to “redesign” this section of stream by increasing depth, adding structure and preventing bank erosion. When completed, we will restore fish and invertebrate habitat to this part of the river. As you can imagine this will be a massive undertaking and an expensive one. To date we have committed $2500.00 and have obtained a grant for an additional $3000.00 for this project. To see this project to completion it will require an additional $6000.00 dollars. We will discuss this issue at our next general meeting and welcome your input. Brian Cowden, the Musconetcong Home Rivers Initiative Coordinator, will be our guest speaker at the June Meeting and will have all the details of this important project.
With expensive projects like Point Mountain looming in our immediate future we are very concerned about our finances. The board of directors has been discussing numerous ideas on fundraising to help off set the costs of large-scale projects like Point Mountain. In addition to our annual raffle, we are looking to put together a “fly box” raffle. Our intention is to collect hundreds of flies, tied by our members, and offer this massive collection as a raffle prize. I am asking every fly tier to consider donating a dozen flies to this cause. Whether you are a beginner or an expert tier we welcome your contribution. Our goal is to create the ultimate collection of trout flies. This collection will be on display at our regular meetings so you can watch it grow and decide for yourself what flies it is missing to make it the “Ultimate Collection”. The sale of raffle tickets at a dollar apiece will begin immediately and will be offered for sale at monthly meetings and shows. We are also looking at other ideas like a “One Fly Competition” and we hope to have more information on that in the future.
On the topic of fund raising I would like to acknowledge one of our members, Richard Dooley. Rich recently presented Central Jersey Trout Unlimited with a check for $750.00 from his employer, Verizon Wireless. Many corporations support their employees volunteer efforts in charitable organizations, does yours? If so, why not consider having them support your favorite charity, Trout Unlimited.
Please remember that our June meeting is scheduled for the third Tuesday in June (June 15).
You can contact Bart at
Criminals’ Money To Help The ‘Musky’
By Stuart Shafran
The Musconetcong Watershed Association has received a $50,000 grant for a river restoration project near the confluence of the Musconetcong and Delaware rivers in Pohatcong Township. The project involves removing the remnants of the Riegelsville dam and then stabilizing the river bank to prevent erosion. The results should also improve aquatic habitat for trout and other migratory species.
The money comes from three community service payments ordered as part of sentences imposed on shipping companies for criminal violations related to attempts to conceal deliberate pollution by ships. Approximately $1.9 million in funding will be made available to 20 projects that will protect and restore health and living resources of New Jersey's waterways.
Plans to remove the Riegelsville dam may start as early as September of this year.
Six TU Chapters Plant A Buffer
By Stuart Shafran
On Saturday, May 22nd, my son Tristan and I joined Brian Cowden from Trout Unlimited's Home Rivers Initiative and volunteers from six TU chapters in a buffer planting project along the West Portal Brook, a tributary that feeds into the Musconetcong River. This project was designed not only to help improve the water quality of the river, but to also help improve conditions in the brook for the wild trout population. Two hundred and sixty native trees and bushes were planted to help filter out livestock waste, fertilizers, and pesticides from entering the trib which runs through the Beatty Farm in Asbury. Trees that were planted close to the river's edge will also diminish erosion and help lower water temperatures.
When we received the e-mail action alert, I thought that this would be a fun event for the both of us, and it certainly was. Jessica Griglak from the Pequest Hatchery along with her husband Keith and their two young boys Cody and Dillon had the same idea. We all spent the morning planting together. The three boys got in the water and formed a bucket brigade to water the new plants (give kids buckets and some water and they make their own fun) while the parents did all the hauling, digging, and stomping. The kids also got to help feed the livestock, and rode in a hay wagon all around the farm. As for the adults, we had our fun too. If you give a fisherman a shovel and time to tell some stories...you can fill in the rest. And, riding in a hay wagon is fun at any age. As well as accomplishing a lot that day, there was much laughter and comraderie. Lunch was provided by the state council.
Brian promises that there will be many more volunteer hours needed to complete this project. Next time you receive an action alert from him, come on out. I guarantee you'll have a great time and make some new friends.
Fly of the Month
This month Bart brings us the "Ken Lockwood Streamer"
A friend of mine recently introduced me to a old local pattern, the Ken Lockwood Streamer. Ken Lockwood, was a outdoor enthusiast, conservationist, and journalist. Ken Lockwood's column in the Newark News was entitled "Out In The Open". This daily column was featured in the Newark News for 35 years. "Out in the Open" was one of the earliest known outdoor columns. Thus it is befitting that one of the most beautiful wildlife management areas in New Jersey bears Ken Lockwood's name. This 260 acre tract of woodlands includes a two and one-half mile portion of the South Branch of the Raritan River. This property has been part of the state's Green Acres program since his death in 1948.
I consider the South Branch of the Raritan River, particular the waters in the Ken Lockwood Gorge, my home river. So I was particularly interested in this pattern that bears the name of the man that made this fishery possible. I tied up a dozen earlier in the week and had a chance to get them wet. It turns out to be a great little streamer pattern. It was neat to catch fish on a little known pattern from the 1930's on the very waters where it originated.