SAVE THE SALTERS - A letter to the people of Wareham, MA

Below is our response to the proposed development/zoning changes that will adversely affect Red Brook as it appeared on


To the people of Wareham,

Some of you may be wondering why “people from away” care about commercial development in your town. It all starts with a special fish called a sea run brook trout or more famously called a SALTER. A salter is a brook trout that lives and spawns in freshwater and travels to saltwater to feed and stay cold when the temperatures rise. Salters used to be plentiful in our region and famous anglers like Daniel Webster and Grover Cleveland were known to travel all over to fish for them.

Unfortunately, most of the streams that held salters were altered to create cranberry bogs. Few salters were able to survive the altering of these streams, which caused rises in temperatures and changes to Ph, but there is one exception and that is Red Brook. Most recently, the salter population was extirpated from the Santuit river, most likely caused by water withdrawals from new developments that began in the nineties.

Red Brook is a uniquely special place. Thanks to the Lyman Reserve and the countless hours spent by volunteers, it once again is a safe habitat for salters, eels and herring. The story of Red Brook is one that is written about in national fishing publications. I have met people from all over our country that have asked about Red Brook. It is a model for habitat conservation and restoration that has inspired people to save similar waters across our country

I own a small fly fishing business that I named after Red Brook because I was inspired by its special history. I live close by and visit it a few times a year. Occasionally, I bring people that have never seen a salter to experience Red Brook. I do not fish on every visit because I do not want to put too much pressure on the stream and its unique and fragile ecosystem.

Red Brook truly is a special place that should be cherished and protected so that future generations can experience it themselves. It should not be allowed to be damaged or destroyed and become a legendary story told to grandkids of the once beautiful fish that lived there.

I am not against commercial development and understand it is necessary, especially for small towns to survive in this modern world. However, I feel it would be a terrible loss to future generations if we did not continue to protect Red Brook from outside disturbance.



William Holleran

Red Brook Tenkara Founder

fishing at red brook

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