Friday, October 30, 2009

Assabet River - Egg Rock to Nashoba Brook & Back

Today my plan was to trash patrol the Assabet River up to Nashoba Brook and back. Somewhere in the back of my mind was the hope that 'Young Bullwinkle' might still be in the area. The river is on the rise as the result of some recent rainfall events and the flow was steady and strong. Paddling against it was liking walking the wrong way on an escalator.
Approaching Dodge Rock, I stopped to admire some recent tree chopping work done by a local beaver. Unfortunately, his tree fell against an adjacent tree and got hung up...

The beaver's misfortune paled in comparison to the fate that befell this 6-point buck further upriver...

The deer's carcass was floating down the middle of the river about a half mile above Spencer Brook. Unless hunting season has already started, I can't imagine how else this healthy looking animal was killed.
Other wildlife seen today were wood ducks, mallards, Muscovy ducks, and Canada geese.
Trash was present in good numbers thanks to a new batch having been sent downriver.
Another kayaker, Stuart, was paddling upriver today as well and we crossed paths a few times between Willow Island and Route 2.
Seeing no sign of Mr. Moose, I turned around at Nashoba Brook and headed downriver. On the trip back, I noticed that the deer's carcass had floated another half-mile downriver and was now snagged on some branches below Spencer Brook.
By the time I reached my takout location, 39 pieces of trash had been recovered. Of the 39, 22 were recyclable (9 redeemable) and 17 were misc. rubbish such as styrofoam, plastic, etc. My YTD total stands at 4570. Today's motley looking bunch posed for this group portrait...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sudbury River - Little Farms to Indian Pt. & Return

Today wasn't quite the splendid day that yesterday was, but it was still OK for a trash patrol from Little Farms downriver to Indian Point and back. Sunblock wasn't necessary. Water levels in the river are rising and the flow, in many places, was chugging right along!
After launching, I paddled into the downstream end of the oxbow and paddled up to this beaver built barrier...

I returned to the river's main channel and passed under the MWRA aqueduct and Stone Bridge Road. Just a little downriver from the old stone bridge, I came upon this escaped canoe...

Wildlife seen today were several groups of wood ducks, a lone blue heron and a lone belted kingfisher.
Enjoyed listening to James Keelaghan's rendition of Gordon Lightfoot's Canadian Railroad Trilogy. I'm beginning to prefer this version more than the original. "A drink to the living, a toast to the dead....There was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run, when the wild majestic mountains stood alone against the sun, long before the white man and long before the wheel, when the green dark forest was too silent to be real, and many are the dead men too silent to be real"
At Indian Point I turned around and began the trip back upriver. Upon reaching Little Farms, the ship's company went ashore and today's batch of refugees gathered alongside my boat's hull for this photo...

The trash count for today was 95 pieces. Of these, 56 were recyclable (22 redeemable) and 39 were miscellaneous rubbish such as styrofoam and plastic bags. Today's most egregious piece was a nearly full 1-quart plastic container of "stump remover". My YTD total stands at 4531.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Concord River - Egg Rock to near Ball's Hill & Back

Sure was glad to be paddling my red boat for this morning's trash patrol, for as I approached the North Bridge, this British soldier stepped onto the bridge and inquired as to the nature of my business on the river. Once convinced my last name was not Revere or Barrett and noting the PC correct color of my craft, he granted me leave to pass under the bridge. Of course, I tried to tell him that the Patriots he was guarding the bridge from are actually in 'jolly old England' this morning, but he wasn't buying any of it!
Proceeding downriver, I noted substantial progress has been made in the construction project at Flint's Bridge. At Great Meadows, the Fish and Wildlife people have their 'Gator Pump' setup to provide additional water for the impoundment areas. After passing Saw Mill Brook, I noticed my favorite cabin on river left appears be occupied again, after many years of sitting empty.
Wildlife seen this morning were ducks, Canada geese, blue herons, a couple of turtles, and a hawk near Buttrick's Hill.
Trash was not too bad, beer cans and styrofoam at 1/4 mile intervals.
I turned around at the beaver lodge near Davis Hill and headed back upriver. Paddled alongside a conoeist from the Millbury area for about half a mile. Mike was paddling on the Concord River for the first time. He often paddles with the Rhode Island Canoe & Kayak Association (RICKA) in the heart of Nipmuc and Narraganset country.
From Saw Mill Brook back to Egg Rock the river was busy with fishermen, kayakers and canoeists. The North Bridge area was also quite busy. Good to see so many folks enjoying the river and its banks!
At the mouth of the Mill Stream, I stopped to admire the work of some local beavers.
Arrived at my takeout location with 26 pieces of trash. Of these 13 were recyclable (9 redeemable) and 13 were misc. rubbish such as styrofoam cups, bait tubs, and plastic bags. They proudly posed for a snapshot before hopping into my dry bag...

My YTD total stands at 4436. Additional photos of today's patrol can be seen at this link.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sudbury River - Kellogg St. to Winter St. & Return

A true Indian Summer day! Sensing that there won't be many more days like today, I quickly finished my work obligations and made a bee-line to the Kellogg Street launch site on the Sudbury River in Framingham. I was in my boat and heading upriver by 10 am. My goal was to trash patrol this stretch of river for the first time and reach the dam at Winter Street. Sure was nice to be paddling in just a t-shirt (with pfd) again!
Trash was plentiful, most of it being styrofoam pieces that may be related to construction work at several bridges. The fall foliage continues to provide some nice vistas.
The Route 9 bridge was reached and it looks like the construction project here is nearly done. However, work is ongoing at Main Street and Franklin Street. In fact at Franklin Street, I surprised two guys doing masonry work to the bridge's underside as I paddled under their staging.
Hearing a train's horn upriver, I tried to reach the railroad bridge in time to see the train but just missed it. The rail line that crosses the river is the Agricultural Branch Railroad (now part of CSX) and it runs from the freightyard in Framingham to a point near Fitchburg. It was once part of the Old Colony System.
Continuing upriver I noticed the current getting much stronger and there were numerous obstacles to paddle over or around. A belted kingfisher was seen in this area. As I neared Winter Street I could hear the building sound of the water falling over the dam. Emerging from under the Winter St. overpass, I came upon this view of a Gothic-looking gatehouse and the dam...

Above this point the river is a reservoir and paddling is not allowed.
After turning around, I soon found myself making excellent time downriver and needed to apply the brakes at several tricky spots. At Franklin Street, I just ducked my head in time to pass under the worker's staging. The cries of a red-tailed hawk were heard and I got a glimpse of him circling overhead. Near Bowditch Field another very distinctive sound was heard. Pipes, as in Bag Pipes and they sounded rather nice! Caught a brief glimpse of the Piper, in silhouette, standing next to some storage containers. It is one instrument that seems meant to be played and heard outdoors.
Reaching my takeout location, my trash count was 56 pieces. Of these, 22 were recyclable (6 redeemable) and 34 were misc. rubbish such as styrofoam (thin white rolls and hard pink blocks), plastic bags, and a child's flotation device. The most egregious was a blue plastic pail with a big glob of blue paint inside. The lot of them posed in the 'Indian Summer' sunshine before entering the dark confines of my car's trunk...

My YTD total stands at 4410. Additional photos can be seen at this link.
After everything was loaded in and on my car, I walked back down the path to the river and a red-tailed hawk swooped down from behind me and flew only a couple of feet above my head. Perhaps he fancied something on my hat?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sudbury River - Kellogg St. to Saxonville & Back

Taking advantage of today's rapidly warming temperatures and good amount of sunshine I decided to trash patrol a section of the Sudbury River I'd never been on before. The launch site at Kellogg Street turned out to be a good one and once on the river, I headed downstream with my objective being to reach the Saxonville Dam. Fall foliage was near peak and trash was plentiful, especially the stretch between Kellogg St. and Fenwick St. Dam. Lots of plastic and styrofoam.
Reaching the low dam at Fenwick Street, I landed upstream and scouted the portage options. River right was very easy and a very short distance. Between Fenwick St. and Saxonville, I encountered a hawk, wood ducks, mallards, Canada geese with a possible snow goose hanging with them, a pair of mute swans, a blue heron, and a cormorant.
Arriving a Saxonville, I saw the area for the first time from an upstream perspective...

After turning around, I found a spot to land and shed the jacket that was no longer required. On the trip back, I surprised a large snapping turtle who moved rather fast, for a turtle, in getting to water deep enough to submerge. Had I been a hunter with a spear, turtle soup would be on the menu tonight.
Arriving at my takeout location, my ship's hold was fairly full and the day's catch disgorged itself onto the ground...

The count for the day was 103 pieces of trash. Of these, 73 were recyclable (22 redeemable) and 30 were misc. rubbish such as plastic, styrofoam, and a small cooler.
My YTD total stands at 4354.
Additional photos can be seen at this link.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Assabet River - Egg Rock to Pine Street & Back

Early this morning, on the water at sunrise, my intention was to trash patrol the Concord River. However, upon reaching Egg Rock, I couldn't resist making one more visit to "Moose Cove" on the Assabet. Once again, my kingfisher friend was unavailable to accompany me, so the trip upriver was a solitary one. Between Willow Island and Spencer Brook, I heard gunshots and must admit to, at first, thinking the moose may have become the target of a hunter, but fortunately that was not the case. The shots were most likely being fired at the Concord Rod & Gun Club located on the other side of Barretts Mill Road.
Several groups of wood ducks were seen along with Canada geese and Muscovy ducks. Grey squirrels were busy along the river's banks. Pieces of trash were few and far between and mostly old. By that I mean they had been in the river for many years. The oldest was a small 3-ounce medicine style bottle of "Roderic Cough Balsam".
Once past the Route 2 bridge, I slowed my pace and scanned both sides of the river for the moose. Alas, he was nowhere to be seen.
Further upriver, I did see an osprey perched in a tree above where the Old Colony Railroad bridge once crossed the river. Crows discovered the large bird at about the same time and their annoying behavior soon succeeded in persuading him to leave his perch.
At Pine Street I turned around and began the trip back downriver. Near the mouth of Nashoba Brook, I came across what appeared to be a coconut. No idea how or why it was there.
Finding Willow Island awash in sunshine, we all went ashore and the grizzled gang of trash refugees posed briefly for this portrait...

My count for the patrol was 16 pieces. Of these, 10 were recyclable (5 redeemable) and 6 were misc. rubbish such as plastic bags, gloves, and paper cups. My YTD total stands at 4251.
Additional photos can be seen at this link.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Assabet River - Egg Rock to Westvale & Return

Late this morning, I once again ascended the Assabet River, curious to see if the Moose I saw last Sunday might still be around. Starting at Egg Rock I soon reached Willow Island and found no belted kingfisher to provide an escort for me this time.
Continuing on alone, I passed under Route 2 and began slowly approaching the backwater on river left where I saw the Moose. Today, there was no sign of him other than this scat he left near the spot where I photographed him...

I placed two fallen tree limbs across the stunted tree in an X to mark the location where the Moose was seen.
As I continued upriver, just before passing under the commuter rail bridge at Concord Junction, I noticed a table for five set up on the river's left bank. It had a pumpkin for a centerpiece, disposable cups, and a trash receptacle with plastic liner. Though an odd spot for a dinner table, everything was quite tidy.
At Pine Street, I passed under the new bridge for the first time since it opened to traffic (later, while driving home, my car made it's first trip across the bridge as well).
Passing the Thoreau School, the voices of children at recess could be heard drifting down towards the river. Perhaps my two grandchildren were contributing to the sounds of kids at play?
Near Cousin's Field a tree loaded with cherry-sized red fruit hung over the river. Not sure what the fruit was but amazed that it hadn't been consumed by wildlife. Reaching the large rock and blowdown before Westvale, I turned around and began my return journey. Almost immediately, an osprey flew across my path.
Trash was found more frequently in the section of river, upstream of Pine Street.
The table for five seen earlier near the commuter rail bridge was gone. By the time I arrived at my takeout location, I had 25 pieces of trash. Of these, 18 were recyclable (9 redeemable) and 7 were misc. rubbish. They gathered on a small beach for a group portrait...

One odd find today was a bottle of "Old Quaker". I'd never heard of that brand before. My YTD total stands at 4235. Additional photos can be seen at this link.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Moose on the Loose on the Assabet

I got on the river a little later than usual this morning in the hopes that temperatures would warm a little from near freezing at daybreak. My ascent of the Assabet, starting at Egg Rock, began at around 8am and I found my kingfisher escort waiting for me in the sunshine near Willow Island. Upon my arrival, he began his series of short flights upriver and I followed. He seemed more chatty than usual and after passing under Route 2, I could understand why he was so animated this morning. Looking upriver, I saw a large silhouette in the distance, near the shore of a backwater. At first I thought it might be a large deer, but looking through my binoculars I saw it was a moose! A moose, right here in West Concord! He was pulling down tree branches and munching the leaves...

I took several photos before proceeding a little upriver and calling Mrs. Trashpaddler to share the moment. As she answered the phone, a young deer peered at me from the riverbank. The deer also seemed concerned with this new addition to the neighborhood! Hanging up the phone, I paddled another 100 yards up to the mouth of Nashoba Brook and caught a glimpse of the moose running along the shore in the same direction, moving rather fast, I might add. He got ahead, and then waited for me with this almost challenging look on his face...

Aware that this time of the year is called "The Rut" and that this young male moose might be lonely for company, I decided it might be best to turnaround and head back downriver. A father and son were fishing from a canoe and I told them of what I had just experienced. Perhaps they also got a chance to see Bullwinkle.
On the trip downriver, I was thinking of how frustrated I would have been if my camera had not been at hand and wondered if anyone would believe me without photographic proof.
Trash recovered today was quite modest. My count for the day was only 7 (a lucky numer for sure!). Of these 3 were recyclable and redeemable and 4 were misc. trash such as a Wendy's visor cap and styrofoam cup. My YTD total stands at 4210.
Additional photos from today's patrol can be seen at this link.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sudbury River - Saxonville Sojourn

When I launched my kayak into the Sudbury River this morning, a visit to Saxonville was not in my immediate plans. Original plan was a downriver trip to Indian Point and back. However, after getting on the water downstream of the riffle at Little Farms Road in Framingham, the waters upstream of the riffle beckoned. First, it was just to see if there was enough depth to paddle through the riffle. There was and once that was done, I figured I'd go as far as the MWRA crossing. Well the next thing I knew I was at the Saxonville gauging station where the water level was under the bottom of the gauge which starts at 5 feet.
Up to this point I had recovered only 17 pieces of trash. Across the river from the gauging station was a drainage culvert with quite a bit of trash near its base. My trash count quickly went from 17 to 54 following a brief shore raid. Once back onboard I was ready to head downriver, but thought maybe I'll just go a little further upstream. Thanks to recent rains the level was near perfect for paddling around Otter Neck in Saxonville and soon I was looking at the mill and the final bend towards the Saxonville Dam. Just below a short drop, I sat in an eddy and enjoyed lunch while my boat made several 360 degree rotations only a few feet from the rushing water. Only other critter around was a kingfisher. I'm beginning to think that the belted kingfisher should be my adopted totem!
With lunch finished I let my bow swing into the flow and began my trip downstream. Despite today being rather breezy, wind was only a factor between Otter Neck and Danforth Street.
I arrived back at Little Farms Road with 73 pieces of trash. Not a bad count for only a mile and a half stretch of river. A large piece of styrofoam may have been from the Route 9 bridge construction. Someone had commented on seeing several pieces blow off of barge into the river a few weeks ago.
The gang assembled for a group portrait near the water...

Returning to my car I came upon a significant amount of trash dumped in the bushes. A case of empty Mike's Lemonade bottles and another 6-pack of beer cans along with some miscellaneous rubbish. This brought the count for the day to 114. Of these 72 were recyclable (49 redeemable) and 42 were general rubbish such as plastic bags, styrofoam chunks, another balloon, a wheel cover, and candy wrappers. My YTD total stands at 4203. Additional photos can be seen at this link. The trip to Indian Point will have to wait for another day.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

House Bill 834 - Sustainable Water Resources Act

Is there room for one more chair at the Commonwealth’s water management table? The supporters of House Bill 834 or Sustainable Water Resources Act (SWRA) are asking that a chair be provided for the myriad of aquatic life trying to survive in our rivers and streams. Having their own chair would elevate their standing from cursory to that of an equal stakeholder.
The SWRA, if passed, will make changes to four chapters of Massachusetts General Laws:
All of the specific changes can be found at this link

As I understand it, the gist of what is being proposed is the following:

• Chapter 21G Section 3 will be modified so as to require the Water Resources Commission at the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs and the Department of Environmental Protection to work with the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife to adopt “regulations establishing standards for restoring and maintaining stream flows, water levels and hydraulic regimes that are protective of natural aquatic life for all rivers and streams in the commonwealth and ensure a balance among competing water withdrawals and uses, as well as preservation of the water itself.” “The department’s regulations shall allow the department in consultation with the division to establish such standards protective of natural aquatic life for a specific river or stream.”

• Chapter 131 Section 42 will have added the following: “The division shall establish criteria to restore and maintain stream flows, water levels, and hydraulic regimes that are protective of natural aquatic life for all rivers and streams in the commonwealth. Such criteria shall be based on the best scientific evidence and methodology available and shall be based on and provide for the natural variation of stream flows, and water levels adequate to ensure their chemical, biological and physical integrity. Within one year of the effective date of this act, the division shall adopt these criteria for all rivers and streams.”

• Chapter253 Section 44 will have added the “definition for “Remove,” or “Removal,” the controlled dismantlement or breaching of a dam to the extent that water is not impounded or diverted by the dam and fish passage is no longer impeded and which is dismantled in compliance with applicable laws and regulations of the commonwealth; provided, that a minimal degree of impoundment needed to retain wetlands and open water conditions may be allowed following controlled dismantlement or breaching of a dam, while removing any impediment to fish passage or alleviating threats to safety or property.”

• Chapter 40 Section 39M will establish a Sustainable Water Resources Fund:
“Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, a city, town, board of water or sewer commissioners, officers performing like duties, or water or sewer district may collect a reasonable fee to be used exclusively to offset and remedy impacts of water withdrawals, sewering, or impairment of recharge of groundwater on the natural environment through depletion of ground or surface waters, and to sustain the quantity, quality and ecological integrity of waters of the commonwealth. Such measures for water return or water loss prevention shall include without limitation, local recharge of stormwater and wastewater, reuse of water, removal of infiltration and inflow, water savings achieved by retrofitting existing development with low impact development methods or water-saving devices, dam removal and land acquisition only for 1) wellhead protection of a public water supply or 2) for siting a decentralized wastewater treatment facility.
The fee, which may be based on retaining within the basin or saving at least one gallon, but no more than ten gallons, for every gallon of increased water or sewer demand, or net impairment of recharge shall be assessed in a fair and equitable manner, and separate uniform fees may be established for residential and commercial uses.
All such fees shall be deposited in a separate account classified as a "Sustainable Water Resource Fund."
This Fund shall not be used for any purpose not provided in this section. The Fund may also receive monies from public and private sources as gifts, grants, and donations to further water conservation, water return or water loss prevention; from the federal government as reimbursements, grants-in-aid or other receipts on account of water infrastructure improvements; or fines, penalties or supplemental environmental projects. Any interest earned from whatever source shall be credited to and become part of said Fund."

All of this sounds reasonable to me and I strongly suspect that fish, reptiles, and waterfowl residing in the rivers and streams of Massachusetts would be unanimous in support of this act. However, not everyone is in agreement. One group that opposes the SWRA, is the Massachusetts Water Works Association (MWWA). This group consists of people that are charged with the difficult task of providing residents of Massachusetts with safe drinking water. To them, this must seem like just another obstacle being placed in their path. Their position on the SWRA can be read at this link
Download Fact Sheet #1

In contrast to their opposition, is the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance. Their position supporting the SWRA can be read at this link

I have read the positions of both groups as well as Op Ed letters in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette written by their respective executive directors. Despite my sympathies, as one working in the water field, for those involved with the day to day chore of providing safe and sufficient drinking water, I'm going to support the Sustainable Water Resources Act. For me, the key component is balance. I can’t agree with the MWWA’s contention that "House Bill 834 upends MGL 21G by singling out aquatic habitat protection as the top priority rather than seeking a balance among all water users as the statute intends." To the contrary, I believe that it is time to recognize the need for having aquatic life on an equal footing with other competing interests to better achieve balance. If water supplies should become low, I'm more than willing to sip rather than gulp! How about you?
If you feel strongly, one way or the other, contact your elected representatives and inform them of your position. You can find your elected representatives at this link

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sudbury River - Rt. 62 to Weir Hill & Back

It was a perfect fall day for a trash patrol on the Sudbury River. I was lucky enough to find myself on the river at 10am and the bow of my kayak was pointed upstream. Temperatures were in the 60’s and a pleasant breeze was busy out the west. After passing under Route 2, I came upon a large, well built and busy hornet’s nest near Clamshell Bank. Just a bit further upriver, I found my kingfisher escort was waiting in a tree and upon my arrival he began flying vanguard for me. We stayed on the right side of the river, passing a pair of perched cormorants as we made our way to Heath’s Bridge. At the bridge a turkey vulture and an osprey patrolled the river from overhead while two shore-fishermen were trying their luck from under the bridge. Before my arrival, one of them had caught a 6-pound large-mouthed bass.
At Fairhaven Bay, my kingfisher escort veered off leaving me to proceed further upriver on my own. A red-tailed hawk left his perch on Brooke Island and flew across the bay while a pair of mute swans occupied the bay’s NE corner. The osprey could still be seen working the skies between the bay and Lee’s Bridge.
At Pantry Brook Falls, the flow resulting from Saturday’s rainstorm was trying to get through the new dam that beavers are building on top of the man-made barrier. It was easy to imagine the beavers busily going about their work under last night’s full “Harvest Moon”.
Reaching my turnaround point at Weir Hill, I went ashore to stretch my legs and enjoy some lunch in the sunshine.
The trip back downriver was made under some darker clouds moving quickly across the sky. Near my take-out location there was a very brief sprinkle of rain.
Addition photos from today's patrol can be seen by clicking on this link.
Trash today consisted of another B’day balloon, a ruptured boat fender, bait tubs, fishing line/hook/ bobber, plastic bags, a shirt, and beer/soda containers. Here they are, back on terra firma again...

My count for the day was 28 pieces of trash. Of these 8 were recyclable (5 redeemable) and 20 were misc. rubbish. My YTD total stands at 4089.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Assabet River - Ice House Landing to Gleasondale

Today, I trash patrolled the Assabet River between Ice House Landing in Maynard and Gleasondale in Stow. At launching, late morning, skies were sunny but the trend was for building cloud cover as the day progressed. Foliage along the water is beginning to show some color especially in contrast to the evergreens. Water levels are, once again, on the rise and one brook in particular was contributing a strong flow. I believe it to be Fort Meadow Brook and it enters the Assabet about a mile downstream of Gleasondale/Rt.62.
Three other kayakers and one fisherman were also noted to be enjoying this stretch of the river.
Wildlife was plentiful with numerous blue herons, two families of mute swans, several cormorants, a few wood ducks, a broad-winged hawk, Canada geese, a muskrat, and many painted turtles.
A very tame pair of ducks were encountered that allowed me to get very close. The female never moved while the Drake was floating upside down. On closer inspection they turned out to be decoys that had been left behind by a duck hunter. I'm hesitant to remove these from the water as it is possible they were left by a hunter who may be returning to get them.
Photos from today's patrol can be seen at this link
Trash started with a "Happy Birthday" balloon and finished with a plastic milk crate. In between were plastic bottles and beer & soda cans. About 10 pieces of trash were recovered on the short path leading from the river to Route 62 in Gleasondale.
The total for the day was 37 pieces. Of these, 31 were recyclable (15 redeemable) and 6 were misc. rubbish. Here they are assembled at Ice House Landing...

My YTD total stands at 4061.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Assabet River Artifacts

Hand-worked stones? Today, when showing these two items to my Dad, he contacted a fellow member of the Sudbury Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8771 who is knowlegeable in such matters. Royce Kahler is a member of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society and agreed to drop by and examine the items. After examining them, he said both were pieces of slate and both were, in his opinion, hand-worked. The larger item may have been used for scraping animal hides or perhaps as a cutting tool. The small smooth and rounded coin-like object was highly polished. Use unknown.
Both items were found this past Tuesday under overhanging sections of riverbank that had been eroded from beneath. Both were found in the bottom mile of the Assabet River between Spencer Brook and Egg Rock not far from where a Native American village was located at the base of Nashawtuc Hill.
Thanks to these two US Navy Fletcher Class Destroyer veterans my quest has been fulfilled for now. For a brief while after, WW II memories of DD-642 (USS Hale) and DD-651(USS Cogswell) were shared as well as talk of a dugout canoe that lies on the bottom of the Sudbury River. Royce served on the Hale and my Dad on the Cogswell. Thanks guys, I greatly appreciate your help!