Commentary: Pepperell’s ‘toxic Dirt’ Would Do Harm to Rivers and Wells
There are projects people want in their backyard that make sense and then there are those that just pull at your hamstring.
There are some old quarries located at 161 Nashua Road in Pepperell which are set back off the road but sit just 200 feet from the junction of the Nashua and Nissitissit Rivers. In addition the quarries also sit just 100 feet from two town wells that serve several hundred people in the town.
If you drive through the town you may notice signs here and there that read “NO TOXIC DIRT”. Resident Sandy Dube says townspeople have been “working to prohibit the state from allowing what we believe to be this dirt from coming into our town and causing pollution to the ground water and the rivers.”
The state wants to allow the quarries to be filled with three million yards of this “Toxic Dirt” from projects in Boston and other places where no one else wanted it. The fill would be piled as high as 35 to 50 feet in the air and over time would settle with rain and leach back into the rivers and well heads. No one knows what is in this dirt, just that no one else in the state wants it.
On top of that is the amount of truck traffic it will bring. Between 10 to 15 dump trucks through Dunstable, Groton, Hollis and Pepperell, most of these going over the famous covered bridge.
The Nashua and Nissitissit Rivers were just named “wild and scenic”, a federal designation with our accolades on it as well. The Nissy is a blue-water trout stream and the Nashua is the comeback river of the century with smallmouth and largemouth bass thriving in it.
This isn’t the time to turn these gains around and take a giant leap backwards.
Outdoor news & notes
This is a great time for the sportsman! You can head to the woods and hunt turkey, maybe drive down to the Cape for tautog, or how about to New York’s Salmon River for some steelhead. There’s also local action for pre-spawn bucketmouth and bronzebacks, and your favorite trout pond for some fast action.
The saltwater front just lit up this week with the return of the striped bass. Schoolies always are first and they are all the way up to Maine. They made a huge push in 10 days from Duxbury to our backyard. Most of these are 12 to 20 inches but some are 26 inches and put on a good show. Circle hooks are a must so you will not injure this must-release fish. A few keepers have been taken around Gloucester, according to Kevin Blinkoff.
A local 10-year-old, John Hannam, went to New York with his dad and fished the Salmon River. The youngster with a huge smile caught a 10-pound, 30-inch steelhead after a 20-minute fight. His mother, Colleen, is a nurse and could not be more proud of her son. The fish is now on the way to a taxidermist.
Largemouth bass are hitting hard and the females are ripe with eggs so be careful to catch and release these where you caught them. That is what Timmy Tetreault did, nailing a 6-pound 2-ounce bass at Millville Reservoir. And Pelham’s Chris Georgoulis landed and released a 7-pounder.
As we head to the end of May, trout stocking will wind down. But until then trout are being placed in many local waters. The Squannacook and Nissitissit were stocked this week. Also planted were Walden, White’s, Buckmaster, Baldpate, Quinsigamond, and the Swift, Shawsheen, Ipswich and Deerfield Rivers.
In two weeks the Friday FishFinder will return for the summer months. Please check these pages every Friday for the latest info on what is hot or not. Remember I always invite you to email me with any field-and-stream news you have.
Bill Biswanger’s email is email@example.com