CTF Name: Kierran Real Name: Kierran Broatch Age: 26 Current City: Milford, CT Hometown: Milford, CT Family Members: Girlfriend Ė Mosey; Parents Ė Jim & Cydney; Brothers Ė Gavin & Garrett Occupation: Volunteer & Outreach Associate
1. You are against the proposed Broadwater liquid natural gas (LNG) storage facility being built in the middle of Long Island Sound. There is still a chance that the facility will be built. Why is this project bad for fishing? There are many reasons why I believe Broadwater doesnít belong in the Sound; the negative impacts it would have on fishing and marine life are just one part of it.
First, we have a private company, Shell, that wants to build a facility, the size of Queen Mary 2, in the middle of Long Island Sound that the public owns. The proposed facility, 10-miles off the coast of Branford, would require a large off-limits security zone. Its visiting LNG tankers would require moving security zones and pass through and clear the Race up to six times a week, disrupting recreational and charter fishermen.
Next, Broadwater would suck millions of gallons of water from the Sound daily, along with it countless microorganisms and fish larvae. Increases in water and sediment temperatures from the facilityís discharges could have a negative impact on the Soundís marine life as well. In addition to mooring the floating facility to the Sound bottom, a 15-mile pipeline would need to be constructed, connecting Broadwater to the Iroquois pipeline, disturbing shellfish beds and lobster grounds. I also donít like the idea of spending my nights surfcasting, staring at what would rival an Atlantic City casino in the middle of OUR most precious natural resource.
2. What are some of the kinds of work you do with Connecticut Fund for the Environment (CFE)? Iíve been compared to a utility infielder for CFE and its program Save the Sound for over two years. One part of my job consists of raising awareness about CFE and Save the Sound by presenting and tabling at various events. Much of what we accomplish as an organization hinges on the hard work of volunteers. One of my duties is to coordinate these volunteers and to organize projects like beach cleanups and habitat restoration projects along Long Island Sound. I am also a registered lobbyist and you can sometimes find me at Hartfordís Legislative Office Building pushing environmental friendly legislation.
3. What are some of the things you've done with CT DEP? For three summers during college I worked as a seasonal park aid in the Connecticut state park system. I was stationed Indian Well, Osbournedale & Silver Sands. It was a great summer gig that I recommend for anyone who likes working outdoors.
After graduating, I decided on one more stint as a seasonal -- this time as a resource assistant with the eastern division of the Inland Fisheries Department. This may turn out being the coolest six months of work I will ever experience.
At the time, seasonals (including CTF's SaxMatt) were conducting creel surveys on three bass management lakes Ė upper Moodus, Bashan and lower Bolton Ė in a 13-foot Jon boat. We also sampled numerous lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams by method of electrosfishing. We became a proficient at fish identification and learned some sweet honey holes. Another job perk was fish stocking. We helped stock fingerling northern pike and walleye, as well as hatchery trout and broodstock Atlantic salmon.
4. What are some misconceptions anglers have about what CT DEP does? Some anglers and arm-chair biologists bicker about certain moves made by the DEP. In their defense, years of scientific research and piles of data back up every decision the DEP makes regarding the rules and regulations put in place on Connecticutís waterways. These decisions wonít and canít please every angler, but they are always made in the best interest of the particular fishery.
A 40-inch striper.
5. Given the current economic climate and potential budget cuts, what do you think might happen within DEP and how will it affect the fisherman? I fear the pathetic funding that the DEP receives will plummet even more. Among many things, this could lead to less fish stocking and even less Conservation Officers (CO) patrolling our waters.
Our stateís walleye program, for example, has really excelled and it would be a shame if there wasnít sufficient funding to continue its success. We rear our own pike fingerlings in Connecticut marshes, yet we import walleye fingerlings from the Midwest. Currently there isnít any walleye reproduction going on here, so for our walleye program to continue to succeed, we need to keep up the number of fingerlings stocked.
The lack of funding for Conservation Officers in our state is frightening and may continue to drop. Poaching is still a major issue in Connecticut. The DEP tip hotline is helpful, but if an officer canít respond within an hour or two, the poacher is already cooking his short fish.
6. If you were appointed head of DEP, what are some things you would try to accomplish? I really see the need in this day and age to get children more involved with the great outdoors. Video games and the internet have too firm of a grip on their young lives. A priority of mine would be to bolster CARE (Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education), a program introducing youngsters to fishing. I would also work with Connecticutís Trout Unlimited chapters and expand their Trout in the Classroom program to more schools across our state.
Another goal would be to strike deals with Aquarion Water Company and Regional Water Authority to open up the Saugatuck Reservoir and Lake Saltonstall to permit-only ice fishing (one can dream, right?).
7. What do you think about the proposed all-water fishing license? I like the idea of an all-water license, ONLY if the fees go towards a conservation fund, not the general fund. I believe the time is overdue for keeping track of how many saltwater anglers there are in this state and just how much of an impact they are having on certain fisheries. I recently heard on the news of a proposed hike in license fees from $20 to $40. That may be little steep given this economic climate, but there is no price I wouldnít pay in order to be able to fish.
8. You graduated Cum Laude from Eastern Connecticut State University with a degree in Communications and a minor in Environmental Earth Science. How much value do you put on the education you received? What advice would you give to a young person in high school considering not going on for higher education? I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to receive a college education, which I value very much. I wouldnít be the person or at the job I am today without it. The networking in my line of work is good, and it will hopefully open other doors down the road. As many will agree, a lot of the time itís who you know, not what you know. That said, you certainly donít need higher education to have a successful career. Many of my friends never went to college, instead focusing on trades or building their own businesses. College isnít for everybody, which sometimes people find out the hard way.
Topwater bass off Block Island.
9. How has ctfisherman.com changed your fishing? CTF and its membership have turned me on to new waters in our state, new angling methods and techniques, new species of fish to target, and new fishing partners. I can rattle off dozens of CTF handles that Iíve been on the water with, learning something new from each one. I would like to think that I have helped a few site members over the years as well.
10. Your brother, Britton, died of a stroke at the age of 25. What are some of the life lessons you learned from losing someone so close to you that you apply to your life today? Losing my brother obviously hit my family and I very hard. Britton was an easy-going, handsome, likeable brother and son that left us way too young. One lesson learned is that your whole life, everything that youíve ever known, can change in one second. Live everyday to the fullest and remember that each day that passes is a gift.
11. Tell us about the Britton John Broatch Memorial Wiffle Tournament. Family and friends of my brother wanted to remember Britton in a meaningful way. We created a foundation and fundraiser in his honor, molded around something he loved to do Ė Wiffle ball. Every second Saturday in July for the last five summers, we have hosted what is now Connecticutís largest Wiffle tournament. Dozens of teams battle it out on the field, as a DJ plays music and Outback Steakhouse puts on a free lunch. Thousands of dollars are raised annually, which go towards college scholarships for high school seniors graduating from Brittonís former school, as well as other charities. The sixth Annual BJB Memorial Wiffle Tournament will be held in Milford on July 11, 2009 (thebjbtournament.com). Itís a fun-filled event for the whole family that raises money for charity and honors a lost friend.
The Broatch family at the BJB Memorial Wiffle Tournament.
12. What is one of the most "Beyond Addicted, Just Plain Sick" things you have done in pursuit of fish. I struggled with this question a bit, partly because the folks reading it wouldnít necessarily think anything I do is sick, because they are all sick too! So instead I let my very understanding girlfriend of three-years take a crack at answering it.
Mosey: "Sick is going ice fishing both weekend days in a row, waking up a 3:30 a.m. and not coming home until after dark and, if you had the choice, you would do it everyday."
Sick? That sound's pretty normal to me...
13. What are some of your favorite pieces of fishing gear? My most cherished piece of equipment is a Fenwick Eagle GLC 9-foot 5-weight fly rod. The rod holds more sentimental value to me than anything. It was owned by a friend and given to me after he passed on, and Iím happy to say that itís still bringing trout to the net every season.
A newly acquired possession also holds meaning because of what it took to get it. I recently sold over $500 worth of rare surfcasting plugs and a reel online in order to purchase a new Van Staal spinning reel. It was an investment, which will allow me to fish more effectively in more places.
14. Do you have a dream fishing trip you'd like to take? A dream trip of mine would be fly fishing for monster brown trout in New Zealand. The scenery alone would make the trip, but the chance at 30" wild brown trout on the fly seals the deal.
15. How long have you played guitar? Have you played in a band? What kind of music do you enjoy playing most? I have been casually playing the guitar for about eight years. I have never played in any formal band, but took part in many a jam session over the years. My buddy Derrick plays a mean guitar and has helped me get into it, but it never took off for me like fishing did. Yet, itís something that I can pick up and play from time to time. I enjoy playing acoustic rock, folk and a few tunes that I wrote.
16. Youíre going to be stuck on an island (with good fishing of course). What five albums do you take with you? 1. Before these Crowded Streets Ė Dave Matthews Band 2. Dark Side of the Moon Ė Pink Floyd 3. Unplugged Ė Neil Young 4. Gut the Van Ė Dispatch 5. Last of the Mohicans (soundtrack)
17. Where do you like to go artifact hunting? What are some of the unique things you have found? My uncle has been looking for Native American artifacts for over 30 years and his collection is museum-quality. His interest has recently rubbed off on me, but itís another hobby that you have to find the time for. I will say that artifact hunting spots are kept even closer to the vest than fishing spots for good reason; thereís no catching and releasing in this hobby. That being said, Connecticut is loaded with artifacts left behind by Native Americans. Riverbanks and lake beds are great spots for looking, as they naturally erode over time, occasionally shaking loose a thousand-year old stone tool from the bank. Serious hours of looking, driving and befriending land owners are necessary to find artifacts with any regularity. My proudest find to date is about three-fourths of a Susquehanna Broad point knapped from purple argillite, which can be dated back to the Late Archaic period or about 1000 B.C. This arrowhead is significantly larger than ones made in this area thousands of years later, suggesting the size of the animals in this region back then.
18. What are some of your top tips for landing a trophy trout in CT? The DEP considers "catch & release trophy brown trout" to be a minimum of 22-inches in length. My definition would differ slightly, as I consider any wild or holdover brown trout over 20-inches in length a trophy fish. These trout may not be as large as freshly-stocked breeders, but they are certainly smarter, more elusive and better looking fish Ė they reached that size in a natural setting for a reason.
As for tips, trout in general are line-shy creatures. Long leaders of fluorocarbon help, as itís virtually invisible underwater. Donít skimp on the quality terminal tackle and make sure your knots are good ones.
In rivers, search for quality trout in the best lies. These trout are at the top of the food chain and will hold in the areas that have the most accessible food. A simple, yet accurate, phrase we used while electrofishing for trout was "wood is good." Look for trophy trout in structure, specifically lay-downs and undercut banks, waiting for an easy meal to pass by.
While icefishing for quality trout, electronics are vital. As the saying goes, you cannot catch what is not there. Good electronics do not lie and using them will keep you mobile. Jig a hole for a few minutes and keep moving if nothing is marked. Staying light will allow you to cover more acreage. Donít commit and anchor to one area unless it is really producing.
A 22-inch-plus brown trout.
19. Do you have a fish that got-away story that still haunts you? Two reoccurring nightmares come to mind. One took place on Albieman Mikeís boat in Fishers Island Sound. We were in shallow water, live-lining bunker that we worked so hard to snag, and a four-foot long shadow engulfed my bait. It came unbuttoned after about a minute or two, but not before we got a look at the biggest striper Iíve ever come in contact with. He put me on my current PB bass later that day, which helped ease the painÖa little.
Another day etched in my mind occurred a few winters ago on Mansfield Hollow. A northern pike of mythic proportions broke me off, knocking me on my a$$, leaving line cuts in my hands. That is quite possibly the slowest ice fishing lake in the state, but its fish like that keep you going back.
20. What are some of your fishing plans/goals for 2009? Plans: I would like to arrange some destination fishing trips this season, including a few suicide-runs to Block Island and a flyfishing excursion on the West Branch of the Delaware River.
Goals: For freshwater, I would like to target walleye more often, both through the ice and open water. I would also like to improve upon my fly tying skills in effort to save some cash.
As for saltwater, I would like to go back to the basics. Twenty-dollar wooden plugs have their place, and I do own many, but there are much cheaper, easier, and more effective ways to catch big stripers. I will also focus on choosing my nights on the water more wisely. Many nights I find myself chomping at the bit just to fish, regardless if conditions arenít ideal, whether it be the wrong tide, moon phase or what have you. I do understand the saying "fish when you can," but Iím starting to learn "fish smarter, not harder."