“Biologists seriously dislike gaps in data and a recent donation of a customized electro-fishing river raft by a group of committed conservationists is designed to help MassWildlife fill this critical sampling need. The river raft will make it possible for MassWildlife fisheries biologists to conduct comprehensive coldwater fish surveys on previously inaccessible rocky, high-gradient river habitats. This generous donation was made possible by the efforts of actively engaged members of Trout Unlimited (TU) who have been working with Mass- Wildlife and other scientists on studies focusing on brown trout reproduction on the Deerfield River. A whitewater river raft outfitted with a standing platform, booms, droppers, generator equipment, and livewell is ideal for navigating the fast flowing water and less accessible river reaches….
“A variety of people, businesses, and groups deserve thanks for their contributions to MassWildlife’s new river raft. The 12-foot river raft was personally owned and donated by Jim Dowd, an active member of the Deerfield River Watershed Trout Unlimited (DRWTU) chapter. The raft’s custom-built standing platform was manufactured by Don Barnes, a Millers River TU member and president of Regal Vise, a family-owned business based in Orange producing fly tying vises. The DRWTU and the MA/RI Council of Trout Unlimited combined resources to purchase booms and the electrical arrayl droppers. They also donated a valuable time-saving raft inflating device, an electric pump. Finally, the Greater Boston TU chapter contributed fish tags, which will be used in the Deerfield River Brown Trout study. A shout-out to Kevin Parsons, President of the DRWTU chapter, Bill Pastuzek, President of the Greater Boston TU chapter, MA/RI Council President Paul Beaulieu, Council Secretary/Treasurer Mike Vito and Garry Crago of the Trout Unlimited National Council for their leadership. Thank you for making a key contribution to conservation, providing MassWildlife with the means to further our understanding of some of our most pristine rivers and the fish communities inhabiting them.”  (From MassWildlife Magazine, Fall 2018)