In the late 1970s, the Southeastern Massachusetts Chapter of Trout Unlimited started work on a reclamation of the Quashnet River along the Falmouth/Mashpee town line in the Upper Cape. The river had been channelized by cranberry bog owners into a series of irrigation ditches, which not too pretty nor hospitable to the native brook trout. This conservation/restoration project really caught fire and precipitated a boom in the number of TU members from the Cape Cod area. However the SE Mass group met in Middleborough and, as this was quite a trip from the Cape, local members decided to spin off into the Cape Cod Chapter of Trout Unlimited in 1984. Four years later, in 1988, the Cape Cod Chapter was awarded the Golden Trout Award from TU National as the best TU Chapter in the country. And we never looked back! TU has now been working down on the tiny, now meandering, Quashnet River for about 35 years and this beautiful little “salter” brook trout stream has never looked better. Listed briefly below are some of our accomplishments, donations and projects over the years. As you will see we not only talk the talk, we walk the walk!
- We have fishing outings and trips every year that are open to the public, as are our meetings.
- We were a leader in saving the Sandwich Fish Hatchery from closure in 1993 and 2003.
- We have contributed $5000 to TU’s “Living Brightwater Trust”…this over a ten year span.
- We worked on the Marstons Mills River/Middle Pond herring run reclamation project.
- We were instrumental in erecting an informational kiosk at the Sandwich Fish Hatchery.
- We have donated $2700 toward electronic fish monitoring (PIT tags) at the Quashnet River.
- We started the first Cape Cod fly fishing school over 26 years ago and it’s still running strong.
- We have held local fly tying classes most winters for well over 25 years now.
- We donated a $1500 dissolved oxygen meter to the state-run Sandwich Fish Hatchery.
- We have contributed 30+ years of conservation education through our monthly meetings.
- We contributed over $5000 to the New England FERC dam re-licensing battle of the mid-90’s.
- We are totally committed to the MA/RI Council’s Red Brook project in Bourne.
- We were instrumental in producing the MA/RI Council’s “Massachusetts Anglers Guide”
- We started and funded the Quashnet River Conservation Project three+ decades ago.
- We donated $500 to Montana TU to help the rehab in the Exxon/Mobil Yellowstone oil-spill.
- We support “Casting for Recovery” a women’s breast cancer survivors group.
- We donated about $2000 to the F & W PIT tag program to buy readers and tags.
- We donated $2500 to the Crowningshield project in Heath, MA in 2015.
- We donated $7500 to the Angeline Brook project in Westport, MA in 2016.
We advocate for the sport both nationally and on the local level. Don’t let the trout in our name deceive you though, as most members fly fish for local quarry and that includes salt water fish as well as fresh. This can be seen in the diversity of our monthly programs and speakers. But basically we are simply a local fishing club with a conservation, education and restoration focus. And we are not a fly fishing only club. What ever turns you on – bait, fly or spin – is OK with us! Speaking of education, our renowned fly fishing and fly tying schools feature a full range of fly fishing and tying techniques both salt and fresh, plus we have installed a Trout-in-the-Classroom aquarium in the Mashpee Middle School and have begun the education of students into all aspects of the trout life cycle. The students, with the help of a teacher, start with fertilized trout eggs, raise them to fish of stockable size and then release them into the wild. On the conservation and restoration side our Quashnet River project is CCTU’s premier conservation and restoration project and it is nationally acclaimed.
Come on down, you do not have to be a CCTU member to join in. We also have a banquet every spring, which is our primary fund raiser. This past spring saw one of our best banquets yet, both socially and financially. Most of the funds raised are used locally.