Coalition working to protect Angeline Brook’s native sea-run brook trout

The Coalition and the Westport Land Conservation Trust (WLCT) are a step closer to protecting Angeline Brook, home to one of the most important remaining native sea-run brook trout populations in southern New England.

a hand holding a native brook trout from Angeline Brook in Westport

Angeline Brook in Westport is one of the few remaining places around Buzzards Bay where native sea-run brook trout live. (Image: Robert Golder)

Coalition staff recently worked to secure an $85,000 grant that was awarded to WLCT this month by the Massachusetts Conservation Partnership Program, which helps land trusts acquire land for conservation or recreation.

This funding will be put toward a project to forever protect 50 acres of forested land along Angeline Brook in Westport. Angeline Brook, which flows to the west branch of the Westport River, is a coldwater stream that provides a home for native sea-run brook trout, also called “salters.”

Eastern brook trout are on the decline everywhere because of land use changes and development, particularly along the coast. Sea-run brook trout, which migrate between salt water and fresh water, were once common throughout coastal New England, but today they only survive in a few locations. There’s only a limited amount of sea-run brook trout habitat left in southern New England – and Angeline Brook is one of those places.

Sea-run brook trout are vulnerable to development because they can only live in clean, cold freshwater streams that are free of dams and other barriers. In fact, the presence of sea-run brook trout in a stream like Angeline Brook is an indication of very clean water and pristine habitat. Protecting forests that grow along coldwater streams helps keep water temperatures cool and reduces polluted runoff that can harm the water’s health.

We want to protect Angeline Brook and the forests that surround it so sea-run brook trout can thrive. By conserving these forests, we’ll also create more places for people to get outside and explore. This project will expand the popular Herb Hadfield Conservation Area to create a greenway corridor along Angeline Brook where people can hike, fish, and enjoy the outdoors.

The Coalition frequently works with local communities and land trusts like WLCT to help secure funding to protect important natural areas across Buzzards Bay. For this project, the Coalition identified the properties to protect, negotiated contracts, prepared grant applications, and received federal funding from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Once these properties are purchased for protection, WLCT will own the land, and it will become part of their network of protected places in Westport.

Update: The Coalition and WLCT completed this project in March 2016.

Category: On the Land

Current Issues

Land Conservation

Conserving land is one of the most important ways to protect clean water in Buzzards Bay. Since 1998, the Coalition has forever preserved more than 7,000 acres of land across our region.

Read More ›

Related Stories

Over 300 cyclists raise record $215,000 for clean water at 13th annual Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride

Pedaling beneath sunny skies and moderate winds on a cool fall day, cyclists broke records for both participation and fundraising at the 13th annual Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride, held on Sunday, October 6.

Full Story ›
An expert’s guide to nature photography around Buzzards Bay

Greg Stone's images from his home town of Westport show time and time again that the best nature photos are those that “see the extraordinary in the ordinary,” as he puts it.

Full Story ›
New nitrogen-reducing septic systems help protect clean water in Westport

Westport's year-round population is growing rapidly, which means more people using septic systems. Nearby waterways are showing clear signs that too much nitrogen is reaching their ecosystems.

Full Story ›

Working to Save Buzzards Bay

The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a membership-supported organization dedicated to improving the health of the Buzzards Bay ecosystem for all through education, conservation, research, and advocacy.

We work to protect clean water on the Bay and on the land: