May 26, 2022
Dear fellow members,
Martin Pond continues to hold monster trout such as the several that were caught on last Sunday at the Shad Bake. The stream will hold trout and provide fishing adventures for at least another month, or for as long as we have decent flow. Rain in June can extend good fishing into deep summer, as it did last year when brook trout in Section Five were taking flies off the surface in July.
Fishing adventures correctly describes late spring and early summer fishing at the Club. On most days, you will have the Club to yourself. Go alone and bask in the solitude of 2500 acres and a pristine trout stream. Invite a friend or two for a quiet streamside beer and sandwich. The trout are there, lurking in the deep, cool water. Catch a couple for the grill. You may have to work for every fish, but after a month or more on natural foods, they are delicious and they are there to be eaten, by us or by the herons and otters. Keep in mind that stocked fish will not survive late summer heat and low water.
Clockwise below: Tim with the Toro, Camplot A (stone wall), Camplot B (crabapple tree), Peck’s Meadow.
Molly and Tim have completed spring mowing of the release areas. They look amazing. Walking through Camp Lot is practically a religious experience. Peck’s Meadow is spectacular. David Brown and Thousand Acre aren’t far behind and are slated for continuing touch up work. As the pictures show, our new Toro walk-behind brush hog is making itself very useful in pushing the edges back, cutting back vines and brambles, maintaining trails, and mowing around trees, on uneven ground or in other places the tractor can’t reach.
We are still waiting for the new Kubota tractor, ordered last fall and promised in June. No word yet on delivery except that we will have about a two week advance notice. Meanwhile, the old tractor, with repairs, is holding up.
Having the mowing done now frees time over the summer to address planned work on the stream which this year will include catwalk repair and replacement in designated areas, restoring the Falls Pool Dam, reclaiming Pickerel Hole from a fallen tree, and minor but time-consuming repairs to numerous check dams and gabions. Other work on the forest and bird properties will include refreshing or replacing signage, gate replacement, trail and path maintenance (the release area paths require continuous mowing) and addressing invasive plant infestations at the Rabbitat area. And, Molly intends to winterize the chukar house to reduce pen mortality during inclement weather.
The picture at the left shows damage to the right training wall of the Peck’s Meadow Pond Dam. We intend to complete repairs this summer. Earlier this month, your Club’s Board of Directors approved a bid from RED Construction, LLC to complete the dam repair work for $56,751 plus a possible additional charge for a temporary siphon to control the water level during construction. RED Construction is the same outfit that handled last summer’s repairs to the Post Pond Dam. They came in on-time and under-budget then. And so, credit to A. Lincoln, “With high hope for the future no prediction in regard to it is ventured.” We expect work to begin in late July and finish in early August.
Beavers have taken over a section of the Early Brook fishing beat, creating an unwelcome nuisance for members seeking encounters with native trout. Although small consolation to anglers, this ‘ill wind’ does blow some good. The new pond adds another spot to look for wood ducks in the fall and ecologically considered, beaver activity is part of the long term cycle of New England forest progression with benefits that include nutrient and soil retention, improved deer browse, better oak regeneration from shade removal, and enhanced groundwater recharging that benefits dry season stream flow. Dry season flow is the critical constraint on native fish populations. Nonetheless, the newly resident rodents are unwelcome and can expect trapper visitation when trapping season rolls around in the fall.
In the meantime, catch a few late season trout, pack a lunch to share with friend or family at Martin Pond, or take a walk through the rapidly greening release areas. It’s a beautiful time of year to visit your Club.