Manchester: Wild Trout Conservation Microcosm

With trout water in its veins, the home of Orvis and the American Fly Fishing Museum in Vermont should be an example to the rest of the world about how best to preserve wild fish populations. Yet Manchester is growing rapidly and some — including local guide Chuck Kashner — say its attitude toward conservation is less than ideal. “The wild trout populations of the Batten Kill have declined by 70 percent over the past 20 years, according to an Orvis newsletter. In-stream woody debris and overhanging trees have been removed from the river by floods and development, reducing the river’s ability to sustain the abundant wild trout that gave it premier fishery status, according to two Vermont state studies.” (From an article in today’s Worcester Telegram & Gazette.)
Fortunately both Orvis and Trout Unlimited are focused on brook trout habitat restoration. How well they succeed in places where wild trout populations most deserve attention is certain to be a bellwether of fishery conservation trends.

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