Paddle to the Pass

Saturday, May 9, 12:00 Noon

Come spend a wonderful day with us on the water!

 What better way is there to spend a spring afternoon than in paddling a boat on a beautiful river?   And what if you don’t own a canoe or kayak—no problem!  Because just in time, the Westport Historical Society (WHS) is offering  this opportunity in Paddle to the Pass, a kayak/canoe tour up the Saugatuck  River to the fish ladder.  The tour will take place next Saturday, May 9, starting at noon.  Kayak rentals will be made available by the Longshore Sailing School. Information on how to obtain a kayak will be available when you make your reservation.

Guided  by Sally Harold, Project Director of the Nature Conservancy’s Saugatuck  River Watershed Partnership, the tour will depart from the : I-95 Boat Launch (off of So. Compo Rd)  The trip, which is co-sponsored by the Nature Conservancy,  is expected to last about two hours.

The tour will paddle to the first fishway on the Saugatuck, which is  just upstream from King’s Highway North in Westport.  

And what is a fishladder?  Each year, adult river herring make their way from the Atlantic Ocean to the freshwater streams of their birth. Moving into estuaries the fish slowly change to adapt to the freshwater environment.  Changing water temperature and flow provide cues to the fish that it’s time to move upstream to spawn.  This springtime ritual has been observed in Connecticut’s streams since there were those present to notice.  

The Saugatuck River now has more fishways than any other river in the State of Connecticut.  Tour-goers will learn about the river, its rich history and The Nature Conservancy, which  has been working on protecting and enhancing the health of the Saugatuck Watershed since the early 60s.  Since, 2003, Ms. Harold~Project has~worked with interested individuals, groups and municipal partners to protect~the~health of the aquatic~system and restore access to spawning habitats for river herring and other species.  

Reservations are required. To register:

Call The Westport Historical Society at 203- 222-1424 

The fee is $20 per kayak/canoe, a  percentage of which will be donated to The Nature Conservancy. Proceeds also  support the educational programs of the WHS.  The trip is sponsored by BNY Mellon.

The $20 fee is for coming on the tour if you own your own kayak or canoe (this is per boat, not per person) and it is paid to WHS, by check, cash or credit card.

If you need to rent a kayak to come on the tour, call Longshore Sailing School (M-F) and reserve one, 226-4646.

Single kayak: $28            Double Kayak: $40

This cost is paid directly to Longshore Sailing School, separate from the fee paid to WHS to go on the tour.

Longshore will give you instructions about where to get the boat and how to meet us at the Boat Launch.

Fee must be pre-paid

Rain or shine, we will contact  you if it is unsafe to go on the water.