Alewives Migrating down Falls River

Stephen Gephard, Supervising Fisheries Biologist for Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) reports the exciting news that Alewives are migrating from the Mill Pond in Centerbrook down the Falls River. Gephard says that "they should be able to get past Tiley-Pratt and the broken down dam at the mouth of Falls River. More water will help. They got over the dam in Centerbrook after that rain brought up the water level in the pond enough to create some spill. Once the water went back down, they stopped. There may be more fish waiting in the pond. These fish could be stopped upstream of Tiley-Pratt for now if the water level is too low but as soon as the rain comes again, they should be able to get out to the Connecticut River and head to sea."


Gephard adds that "they will want to return to the stream and hopefully Millpond instinctually. And they were hatched. We did not stock the juveniles; we stocked their parents. We put a couple of hundred pre-spawned adult alewives in the pond this spring. They spawned and probably headed back out immediately. Their eggs hatched in a few days and the little alewives have been feeding and growing in the pond all summer. As they do that, they imprint to the odor of the water (memorize it). When they return to freshwater to spawn in 3 – 5 years, they will seek out the odor of the Falls River, enter the stream, and swim upstream to where they originated."


Check out the video showing the alewives going over the dam on the Centerbrook Architects website: Here

As an additional note, plans are being developed to construct a fish ladder to ascend the dam separating the Mill Pond from the downstream section of the Falls River. We will report further on this project as plans are firmed up.

Eleventh Annual Land Trusts Amateur Photo Contest​ - Deadline January 31, 2017

Five local land trusts invite amateur photographers of all ages to enter their favorite​ photographs of scenes in the towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, Essex, Salem, and East Haddam in the​ Land Trusts Photo Contest. Children are especially encouraged to submit photos. Participants​ need not live in the towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, Essex, Salem, and East Haddam, but photos must​ be of scenes in one of these five towns. Land Trusts in these towns sponsor this photo contest.

​Cash prizes will be awarded in five categories: Landscape/Waterscape, Plants, Wildlife, and​ Cultural/Historic (human interaction with nature, including domestic animals and buildings), for​ participants 15 years old of age or older; photographers 14 years old or younger may enter​ photos on any of these subjects in the Youth Category.

​A three-judge panel will select the winning photos. New as a contest judge this year is Joe​ Standart, an award-winning photographer, director and internationally known artist who loves​ photographing the natural world. Returning judges include Amy Kurtz Lansing, an accomplished​ art historian and curator at the Florence Griswold Museum; and Skip Broom, a respected​ award-winning local photographer and antique house restoration housewright.

​All entered photographs, including all the winners, will be displayed at a public reception on​ March 10, 2017.​ Submissions will be accepted from the January 1, 2017 to January 31, 2017. For contest rules​ and more information click: Here

​​Contest awards are funded by the generous support of our commercial sponsors: Ballek’s​ Garden Center in East Haddam, RiverQuest/CT River Expeditions, Lorensen Auto Group, Evan​ Griswold at Coldwell Banker, Essex Savings Bank, The Oakley Wing Group at Morgan Stanley,​ and Alison Mitchell in honor of her late husband John G. Mitchell.

Essex Open Space Properties Brochure - January 2016 Edition

We have updated our properties brochure to include all Essex Land Trust and Town of Essex Open Space properties. Twenty-one different locations are listed as well as two pocket parks. This brochure lists the properties, gives a brief description and specifies access points including GPS coordinates which can be used on most smartphone map applications. In addition, there is a town map showing where all the properties can be found. The Essex Land Trust owns, manages and holds conservation easements on approximately 879 acres of town land, 600 of which it owns outright. Properties are open to the public free of charge. Click Here to access a copy of the latest Essex Land Trust Properties brochure.






The Trust for Public Land Releases Official Trail Map for The Preserve

We are pleased to release of the first Official trail maps for The Preserve. There are two versions available: one of the entire property and a second that zooms in to the Essex sections. The 1000-acre forest, known popularly as The Preserve, this unique, intact and contiguous tract is now open for public passive recreation. Among other characteristics, The Preserve features 114 acres of wetlands, including 38 vernal pools; 3,000 feet of watercourses; a 30-acre swamp; a mature coastal forest, three rocky ridge formations and a diverse population of animals and plants (for example, 25 species of amphibians, 30 kinds of mammals and 57 different birds). The Essex Land Trust manages the 70 acres located in the town of Essex and has established two access points, both of which are on Ingham Hill Road, off of Route 153, Westbrook Road. Trails have been marked. Download a copy of either map by clicking the map image below.






Essex Woods & Waters
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Woods & Waters