Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 103: Memory Lane

A view of the Lawrence Brook from Main St. in Milltown.
When: Tuesday, August 23rd, from 12pm to 12:30pm
Where: The Lawrence Brook
What: Fishing
Weather: Partly Cloudy. 76 degrees. Variable wind at 5mph.
Barometric Pressure: 30.02in
Moon: Waning. 2 days after Third Quarter.
Water Conditions: Slightly stained.

It's good to be back in Middlesex County.....on many levels.

Instead of heading toward the Goethal's Bridge this morning, I took the Parkway to Route 1 and started working in Middlesex County. I may have to make a few trips back to Staten Island over the next couple of weeks, but I won't be spending any quantity of time there again until next Spring.

Around lunchtime today, I found myself in the Milltown/East Brunswick area and I stopped in a local subshop to get a sandwich. I noticed it was the same "Legend's" that used to be on Easton Ave. in New Brunswick and is run by same owners I worked for at the Rutger's Student Center......almost 15 years ago.

Oh my how the time flies.

Not even a quarter-mile from the subshop is the Lawrence Brook. The Lawrence Brook is a fascinating watershed that stretches its fingers throughout Middlesex County. Most people don't realize that popular fishing holes such as Farrington Lake and Davidson's Mill Pond are actually impoundments of this fragile river. The Lawrence Brook has long been under attack from local developments and non-point source pollution, however, the efforts of the Lawrence Brook Watershed Partnership have brought public awareness to this problem and given this delicate water system a sporting chance at a future.

Check out their work at www.lbwp.org/.

During my encore/finale semester at Rutgers College, I assisted a non-profit, volunteer group called New Jersey Community Water Watch. The organization worked closely with the LBWP and I participated in a handful of events for both groups. I still get emails from the LBWP to a mostly-defunct email account.

I fished for only 30 minutes, just before what will soon be the famous NJ Earthquake. I was rewarded with a tiny pickerel for my efforts. The slow-ish fishing once again supported my findings about barometric pressure. Steady pressure does not make for overly-active feeding, and that wasn't the case.

One other thing is that the stretch of the Lawrence Brook that I was fishing comes directly from the dam at the end of Farrington Lake. I would not be surprised, and I would even expect, that a few northern pike have made it over the dam throughout the years. This part of the river has perfect habitat for them and I'll definitely be back to test this theory.

So, it was great to not have to travel to Staten Island today. It was also nice to see the brook that I volunteered my time to protect. There were years in my life that were marred by chaos and turmoil, and when I think back on them, the Lawrence Brook seems like a ray of light on otherwise cloudy day.

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