Sunday, April 6, 2008

Patrol of the Upper Concord River

Today's cool, cloudy, and drizzly conditions meant paddling in a wetsuit and pogies again. This has been a banner year for my Filson "Elmer Fud" hat. If there is a warmer hat than this, I've yet to find it. Once I had launched out onto the river at 11 am, it wasn't that bad and as often as not when it is dreary out, one tends to see more wildlife.

I decided to give the upper Concord River another patrol since there will be so much activity around the North Bridge over the next 2 weeks. Between Lowell Road and the North Bridge, on river right, I came across a large green trash bag wedged into a strainer. Pulled it out and paddled it to shore where I found it contained 40 pieces of trash that probably came from fishing activity around the Calf pasture area. The bag may actually have been in one of the trash barrels there. At any rate, it got me off to a great start.

Reaching the North Bridge area, I found another dozen or so pieces of trash and noticed quite a few people visiting the area, despite the weather.

Found another dozen pieces just below Flints Bridge. By the time I reached the Landing at Great Meadows, my deck was loaded, so I landed and began organizing trash versus recycleables. Relaunching into the river, I had 53 pieces of trash below deck, 36 pieces in my drybag, and 3 under the deck bungees. Paddled down to my favorite cabin below Sawmill Brook and sat in boat near the empoundment while I enjoyed some hot cocoa and a power bar.

Heading back upriver, I encountered eastern bluebirds and a hairy woodpecker on river right near Hutchin's farm. A little ways below the North Bridge, I enjoyed watching the acrobatics of many tree swallows. I suspect they were catching/eating the same flying nymphs that kept landing on my hat.

Arriving at my takeout, I ended up with 107 pieces of trash. 69 were recycleables . My YTD total now stands at 855. Not too shabby for a gloomy Sunday in early spring!

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