Conservation, fly tying topics at Nutmeg TU Feb. 21

Anglers and conservationists will get an update on local conservation efforts and learn an early-season fly they can tie at the next regular meeting of the Nutmeg Chapter of Trout Unlimited, on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. at Port 5, 65 Brewster Street, Bridgeport.

Immediate Nutmeg TU past President Charles Petruccelli will demonstrate how to tie hackle-less flies that have proven effective in the early spring on local streams, such as elk hair caddis, comparaduns and “The Usual.” This will tie into another presentation that will soon be announced.

The chapter will also meet Brian Carey, conservation director for the town of Fairfield, and Lynn Shavinsky, president of the Mill River Wetland Committee.

Carey, appointed May 1, 2015, replaced retired Conservation Director Tom Steinke, who had served the town for about 43 years.

Carey had previously served as conservation superintendent for the town of Stratford for seven years. He was instrumental in the 35-acre Long Beach West Barrier Beach Restoration Project, which was awarded the Coastal America Partnership Award by President Obama in May 2012.

Carey is a lifelong resident of Fairfield, where he currently lives with his wife, Maura Brennan Carey, and their two children. Carey is a graduate of Fairfield College Preparatory School and Virginia Tech, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in natural resource management.

The Mill River Wetland Committee, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016, has promoted protection of open space along the Mill River in Fairfield, mainly through use of the Perry’s Mill Pond River Laboratory Area on Sturges Road for guided science education about watersheds.

Concern for the environmental future prompted the launching of River-Lab, a hands-on program of environmental science study that includes all students in grades three through six with the Fairfield public and parochial schools as an established part of their curriculum. More than 100,000 students have participated in this volunteer-led program through the years.

MRWC and River-Lab have utilized volunteers to educate and engage the community about environmental education for generations. The River-Lab program, just last year, trained 400 adults to lead study trips. A number of those guides had gone through the program themselves as students.

Nutmeg TU meetings are open to the public free of charge; pizza and a cash bar are available.

The Nutmeg Chapter of Trout Unlimited 217 encompasses Fairfield, Westport, Weston, Easton,  Redding, Trumbull, Monroe, Bridgeport, Stratford, Milford, and Shelton. Its mission is to conserve, protect and restore coldwater fisheries and their watersheds, particularly in local rivers such as the Saugatuck, Mill, Aspetuck, Pequonnock, and Farmill. More information may be found at nutmegtrout.org.

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