Salter Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) is one of eighteen fish species in greatest need of conservation as identified in MassWildlife’s 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan. Photo documentation of brook trout fry in Boiling Spring brook earlier this year has spurred an effort to protect this sub-watershed of the Westport River. Last week, we sat down with Charles Deknatel who is donating land along the brook. (Image: Robert Golder)

Mr. Charles Deknatel is in the process of donating 4 acres of his family land to protect prime wetland habitat, including rare salter brook trout habitat. Boiling Spring Brook, a cold-water stream on Westport Point, runs through Mr. Deknatel’s 4 acre land gift. This soon to be protected property is contiguous with more than 15 acres of land already protected by Westport Land Conservation Trust (WLCT) along Boiling Spring Brook. We are truly grateful for Mr. Deknatel’s generosity. 

Ross Moran

Executive Director, Westport Land Conservation Trust, Inc.


What was your motivation for conserving your property?

“Truly, my motivation was to protect Boiling Spring brook. My mother donated a parcel of land further north along the brook to the Trust in the eighties. The land I am donating is further south. It isn’t build-able land and it doesn’t effect my house or lot so it was an obvious choice to protect the resource. Part of me hopes that my land gift encourages my neighbors to the north and south to think more about protecting their land along the brook as well.”

What is special about your land?

“I grew up fishing in there since I was a kid. All of that land used to be part of a large farm that was split by Route 88 in the 1950’s. We didn’t own the land until after the farm was broken up and the road was built, but I remember it before too. It was much more open then and we all walked and fished there as kids. It’s where I learned about frogs and salamanders. I had one close friend in particular who taught me all about the local wildlife. Now it’s all overgrown and very different. There aren’t as many frogs and salamanders as there were when I was young but some are still out there. I hear the frogs from my backyard every so often.”

What do you love most about Westport?

“Being close to the ocean and the woods and fishing. And also the character of this Town. It’s a lot different nowadays, but some things still look exactly the same. Mostly it is the closeness to the water though. And not just the river and the bay but all the streams and ponds too.”