Members of the Ridge & Valley TU chapter along with a few stragglers from other chapters came out to cut willow "whips" and "stakes" under a state-issued collection permit from Allamuchy Mountain State Park in Mount Olive Twp. near the Musconetcong River at the restored former Tilcon Quarry. Once our volunteers had filled three pick up trucks, we ventured out to two sites on the Musky to plant the native willows at the Pump House Restaurant where the Gruendyke Mill dam was removed several years ago and then well downstream in Franklin Township on the Deerbrook Farm just upstream of where Interstate 78 crosses the river at exit 6 off that highway. These willows will quickly take root and begin to stabilize eroding banks as well as providing shade to the river to keep water temperatures cool in summer and to filter runoff during rain events.
Above: Willows harvested from Allamuchy Mountain State Park. A big thank you to the folks at NJ Division of State Parks and Forestry for the collection permit that allowed our members to harvest free planting materials to benefit our native trout streams!
Below: Badly eroded banks on the Deerbrook Farm property due to a lack of trees and shrubs along this stretch of the Musconetcong River in Warren County.
Below: That's I-78 in the background. TU volunteers planted nearly a half mile of river bank on this farm.
And as usual, our work day ended with some fishing. Today was at the Point Mountain Trout Conservation Area (TCA) for some action with holdover and newly stocked rainbows. After all, it is fishing that brings us together. Below are chapter President, Fredy DeLeon (left) and Treasurer, Steve Hoppe (right) in the cold rains of the late afternoon.