Where Do You Draw The Line ?


Where do you draw the line between development and progress and protection of a fragile resource or ecosystem ? Where do you draw the line on publicizing a fishery and showing wonderful trout specimens from it ? For me, it is when the potential for the degradation of a trout stream outweighs what potential extra fishing pressure may ensue. Normally I would never post a picture like this one and name where it was caught but, in this case I must.

This brown was caught and released in Roaring Brook, a tributary of  the Willimantic, in Willington, Connecticut. I tell you this and show you this because the next hurdle for Love’s Travel Stop is coming.

I was made aware of this next step by Kathy Demers yesterday of the Willington Conservation Commission. She informed me of the following which is summarized as below via her :

Love’s Travel Stop proposed to the Town of Willington to construct a Travel/Truck Stop and Restaurant off of exit 71 on Rt 84 on Polster Rd, in Willington. The property is 40 acres and contains portions of Roaring Brook, two wetlands that drain directly into it and several other wetlands that act as vernal pools.

Roaring Brook is a Class 3 WTMA and is habitat for brook trout as well as brown trout- both stocked and naturally reproducing.

Love’s did receive approval from Willington’s Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission ( IWWC ) in 2012. It also received approval from Willington’s Planning and Zoning Commission ( PZC ) in 2013 but with some conditions to in order to minimize risks to Roaring Brook and the wetlands.

At that time, their plans were not complete for a septic system and are now applying  to CT DEEP for a permit to install and operate a subsurface waste water absorption system. This would be a commercial size that would handle 6,000 to 9,000 gallons per day.

I’m not going to go into great detail here but the leaching field system is located approximately 120 feet from what is named Wetland ” H ”  which functions as a tributary to Roaring Brook. In 2013, the cold waters of this particular wetland was documented by Brian Murphy, a DEEP fisheries staff ,  to contain native brook trout fry !

What is particularly alarming from what I understand is that the site disturbance and clearing needed to construct and maintain the leaching field would come within 20 feet of Wetland ” H  ” and from that edge of  ” H “, it is less than 300 feet to where it runs into Roaring Brook.

Now, I’m not very savvy at embedding links but if you Google or look on DEEP’s website, you should find Brian’s 2013 report as well as DEEP’s Public Hearing Process and Schedule. Please take the time to look them up. In the meantime, Kathy provided me some important dates- which I will be attending !

1.) There is a public site walk on Monday April 23rd beginning at 10:00 am. It is about 0.2 miles from 3 Polster Rd in Willington ( left side ).

2.) There is a public hearing on Tuesday April 24th at the Willington Public Library at 6:00 pm. HOWEVER, the community room opens up at 5:30 pm for the public to view exhibits and talk with DEEP and Love’s Travel Stop representatives.

3.) The public can also send letters directly to DEEP’s Hearing Officer with their comments, concerns, and questions.  The deadline for that is May 4th.

Here is one link I am able to embed:


Roaring Brook is an established fishery and worth protecting. I hope you will read this and share and I hope to see some of you at one of these meetings.








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