Tag Archives: Saugatuck River

A Tree Falls In Westport

David Ader is  retired from the financial industry. His days are busier than ever with fly fishing (he’s a board member of the local Trout Unlimited chapter), writing, and rediscovering interests like archaeology (he’s excavating a Native American shelter). 

Westporters often want to change, tame or remake the natural world, to fit our needs. Here is one small example of why we should sometimes let nature take its course. David published this originally for Trout Unlimited’s Nutmeg Chapter.

As has happened in the past when a large tree falls into the Saugatuck River off Ford Road anglers tend to balk and insist that it be removed.

When I chat with the random fisherman and mention my affiliation with Trout Unlimited, more often than not said angler will say, “Why don’t you get rid of that thing? It’s your job.”

An especially large one fell just downstream from the bridge that leads to the offices of Bridgewater Associates, now empty and up for grabs.

Tree in the Saugatuck River.

In anticipation of the requests when fishing improves, I along with my  buddy Andy McNab approached a number of officials, from the Westport Conservation Commission to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and indirectly to the US Geological Survey, and a guy named “Vinnie the Axe” who handles things for me on occasion.

That last bit is not true.

Anyway, after a very informative walk and talk with Jeff Yates of TU and Gerald Berratfati, who leads the Minanus Chapter, we’ve arrived at the conclusion that it’s best to leave the tree alone. Aside from the complications and costs involved in removing it, the tree will move to the bank when we get a strong flow and provide something of a natural revetment in that stretch that would enhance the habitat. Further, I know of several dozen flies I’ve lost in the branches and so the tree offers accessibility to the treasure-hunting angler that didn’t exist when the tree was standing. Nature has worked in our favor.

So, if asked what’s done be done the answer is nothing. The thing to do is let the river do the work, create a bend, and give the fish a place to hide.

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Pic Of The Day #2025

Plenty of nature on the Saugatuck River. Next to it: not so much. (Drone photo/John Videler for Videler Photography)

Pics Of The Day #2024

Old Mill Beach … (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

… and Grace Salmon Park ,,, (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

… and the nearby Riverwalk … (Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

… and the Saugatuck River downtown (Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

Pic Of The Day #1986

Saugatuck River, from Rive Bistro (Photo/Andy Fisher)

Pics Of The Day #1981

Tonight’s brief but intense storm produced these scenes:

Storm clouds move over Compo Beach … (Photo/Brian Sikorski)

… and Soundview Drive … (Photo/Maureen Aron)

… and rain falls outside the Gorham Island office building … (Photo/Jill McGroarty)

… and then a rainbow at Compo … (Photo/Maureen Aron)

… and over the cannons … (Photo/Lana Diggin)

… and Sherwood Mill Pond, where the power is out … (Photo/Matt Murray)

… and this double rainbow over Compo Cove … (Photo/Tammy Barry)

… and over Saugatuck Shores … (Photo/Rindy Higgins)

… and on Long Lots Road, near the Hunt Club … (Photo/Ellen Patafio)

… and downtown, over the Saugatuck River … (Photo/Danny White)

… while nearby, this tree is down on Thomas Road (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Pics Of The Day #1928

Bruce McFadden is a frequent Saugatuck River paddler.

He brings his camera, and often photographs wildlife.

The other day, he turned his attention to man-made structures.

There’s plenty to see — each view different than the rest. Here’s a sampling of what Bruce saw.

(All photos/Bruce McFadden)


Pic Of The Day #1889

Stand-up paddleboards for rent on the Saugatuck (Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

Pic Of The Day #1886

A different view of the Levitt Pavilion and Saugatuck River (Drone photo/Mark Mathias)

Pics Of The Day #1867

Scenes from today’s storm, at Compo Beach:

Dark clouds gather …

… Lightning strikes …

… and winds show their power. (Photos/Meredith Holod)

Then — just a few minute later — this was the scene from the back of the Levitt Pavilion (Photo/Madison Malin)

Pic Of The Day #1856

Saugatuck River, from Grace Salmon Park (Photo/Karen Jacobs)