River Safety: Show Your River Sense…

Now that summer’s here, the river beckons—but be safe! If you are boating or tubing, wear a life jacket. Go with someone else rather than boating alone. Let someone know of your plans. If you are separated from your companions, get back to them as soon as possible to let them know your whereabouts. And while you’re out there, make the river safer for people and wildlife—leave no glass, no trash, no fishing line or hooks.

For more river safety tips visit FRWA’s River Safety Page.

Join Us: FRWA Annual Meeting, November 18, 2014

You are invited to Farmington River Watershed Association’s Annual Meeting

Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 6:30 – 9:00 pm
Belle Terrace at Avon Old Farms, 1 Nod Road, Avon, CT 06001

Join us for “It All Happened on the Farmington River: A Story of Historic Sites, Fish, Factories, Floods & Flows.”
Presented by Eileen Fielding, FRWA Executive Director

Light Refreshments & Desserts, 6:30pm; Program at 7:00 pm
Tickets $25, RSVP below or via check by November 15. Cash Bar.

FRCC 20th Anniversary Picnic

Enjoy Your River on a Midsummer Afternoon

FRCC 20th Anniversary Picnic—Saturday June 22, 2014 from 1-5 pm

Treat yourself and the family to a day at the river! This June, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Farmington West Branch becoming a national Wild & Scenic River. There will be festivities for all, including;

guided tours and walks,

games for kids,

boating and fishing demonstrations,

stories from the past,

wildlife exhibits from CT DEEP,

streambug searches,

live music by Travelin’ Trout Band, and

good food!

This free event, sponsored by the Farmington River Coordinating Committee, is on Sunday, June 22, 2014 (Rain or Shine!) from 1:00—5:00 pm at Peoples State Forest, East River Road, in Barkhamsted. Come on by!


FRWA Hosts Event as Part of World Fish Migration Day

Spoonville Dam Site Open House 50 Tunxis Ave., East Granby, 10 AM to Noon

In 2012, the removal of Spoonville Dam, a large structure on the Farmington River, restored a historic fishing site on a major migration route for American shad and many other species.   The removal also enhanced a world-class whitewater run in Tariffville Gorge. On May 24, which is World Fish Migration Day, you can visit the former dam site to learn more about the site’s archaeological history, its role in industry and early hydropower development, the disastrous Flood of 1955 that ruined the dam, and the ultimate dam removal and river restoration project. You can walk the site to see remnants of the hydro installation and compare them to historic photos. Who knows, we may even see shad coming upriver!

This free open house lasts from 10 AM to noon on May 24 and the meeting site is near 50 Tunxis Ave., East Granby.   It will be led by Eileen Fielding, executive director of the Farmington River Watershed Association and coordinator of the dam removal. The event is entirely outdoors; please dress for the weather and wear shoes for walking on uneven ground.  For more info about World Fish Migration Day activities, visit the World Fish Migration Day website.

Tariffville Triple Crown – April 12 & 13, 2014

FRWA and the Lower Farmington River & Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic Committee are proud to sponsor the Tariffville Whitewater Triple Crown.

Whitewater Triple Crown Contest Schedule
About the contest:  The Whitewater Triple Crown competition challenges paddlers in three major whitewater disciplines. Wild water racing is about speed, fastest boat down the river wins. Slalom requires precision. The paddlers must negotiate a series of gates for the fastest time. Penalties are assessed for touching the gate poles or missing the gate entirely. Each boat gets two runs. The better run determines their result. Freestyle is an acrobatic contest of spins, cartwheels and flips in whitewater. Incredible balance and reflexes prevail as paddlers are judged for their tricks. The competitions include Men’s, Women’s, and Junior classes, as well as classes for kayak and one and two-paddler canoes (C-1 and C-2). For the Triple Crown, the paddlers score points based on their place in each event. Both the Top Ten Men and Top Ten Women from Saturday move on to the Sunday Finals. The Men’s and Women’s Champions will be awarded $1000.


Saville Dam and Old Barkhamsted Hollow Tour, October 26th, 10am-3pm

Join us for a tour deep inside the bowels of the Saville Dam followed by a trek to some of the old Barkhamsted foundations spared inundation as the Barkhamsted Reservoir filled. We plan to end our tour with a visit to the relocated old Barkhamsted Center schoolhouse. The history and preservation of our watershed is intertwined with the story of the Metropolitan District and the pursuit of clean drinking water for Greater Hartford.

The MDC will guide us through the earthen embankment dam that impounds the 30 billion gallon Barkhamsted reservoir providing drinking water for Greater Hartford. Erik Landgraf  will lead us around the relics of old Barkhamsted Hollow, a village mostly flooded by the creation of the Barkhamsted Reservoir in 1940. Structures that were not flooded were torn down or moved by the water company, but not without a trace. Trace history in your watershed!
Pre-registration is required, space is limited, contact FRWA at (860) 658-4442, or email: river@frwa.org to register; Tour begins at 10:00 am, dress for the weather, wear footwear to walk in the woods, pack a lunch and water. Fee: current FRWA members $5; non-members $10.

FRWA Aquatic Insect Sampling (RBV) Workshop, October 12th, 9am-2pm

FRWA will hold our 10th Annual Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Sampling (RBV) Workshop on Saturday October 12th at Squires Tavern in Peoples State Forest. Volunteers are needed to help sample for aquatic insects as indicators of water quality. Explore the fascinating life of local streams throughout the Farmington River Watershed!
We begin with an indoor workshop to demonstrate collection and identification techniques and explain the use of aquatic organisms in water quality monitoring. Following the indoor training and lunch, teams will move out to sample various Farmington River Watershed streams. Participants wade into the water, collect organisms into a net, sort and identify and preserve a representative sample for verification. The program follows CT DEEP Rapid Biomonitoring for Volunteers (RBV) protocol and results help FRWA and the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) monitor water quality changes in the Farmington River Watershed.
No previous experience necessary, new volunteers are paired with an experienced team leader and older children are welcome with an adult. Lunch will be provided, bring footwear to wade into the water (waders, water shoes or old sneakers).
Program will be held rain or shine; please dress for the weather. Space is limited, advance registration is required. Please contact FRWA at 860-658-4442 or email river@frwa.org to register.
Experienced samplers please contact FRWA to borrow equipment to sample your favorite riffle.

Stream Bugs & Pond Critters, September 21st, 10am-noon

Discover the fascinating underwater life of the Farmington River Watershed with FRWA as we explore Walton Pond and Poplar Swamp Brook at beautiful Winding Trails in Farmington. Spend the morning pond-side and wading in the brook to observe, identify, and marvel at the life histories and ecology of insects and other creatures that inhabit still and flowing waters. Learn how and why we use aquatic insects in our watershed-wide water quality monitoring.

We will provide nets, buckets and expertise; you need only bring your curious mind. We meet at Nature’s Porch; Winding Trails’ beautiful, brand new, certified Connecticut grown building and will go outdoors rain or shine. Please dress for the weather and wear appropriate footwear to wade into shallow water (water shoes, old sneakers, or waders.)

This program is open to all ages but children must be accompanied by an adult. Advance registration is required. Please contact FRWA at 860-658-4442 or email river@frwa.org to register.

Annual River Clean-Up, October 5th

Last year, over 300 volunteers joined together to remove almost 3 tons of trash from the banks of the Farmington River, and we’ll need just as much help this year! You provide your time, and we can provide the supplies as well as lunch, coffee, apple cider, and more. If you have a pick up truck or other large vehicle, let us know; all of that trash has to get to the dumpsters somehow. Locations include Avon, Burlington/Farmington/Canton, Bristol, Simsbury and Windsor.

Main meet-up locations are the FRWA office at 749 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, CT and Collinsville Canoe & Kayak, 41 Bridge Street, Collinsville CT. If interested in volunteering, you may show up at either of these main locations between 10am and 1 pm to register and join in.

Call FRWA at (860) 658-4442 or email apetras@frwa.org with any additional questions or to preregister at your preferred location.

Lecture Series: Spoonville Un-dammed, a Shad Story, October 24th, 7:30-8:30pm

Speaker: Eileen Fielding, FRWA

This presentation is a classic example of the historic back-and-forth conflict between fish and water power.  It will highlight the removal of Spoonville Dam from the Farmington River in the summer of 2012, describing how and why it was done.  It will also cover some of the dam’s eventful history, and discuss the effects of the dam removal on the river’s many uses and functions.

Location: Roaring Brook Nature Center

To RSVP or for more information, call 860-658-4442.