Connecticut River Coordinator's Office
Northeast Region
 
Photo of the Mary Steube fishway in Old Lyme, CT, built to pass herring above this small mill dam - Photo credit:  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Photo of the Mary Steube fishway in Old Lyme, CT, built to pass herring above this small mill dam. Credit: USFWS

Fish Passage Projects Funded and/or Completed in 2008

Swanzey, NH: Homestead Woolen Mills dam removal on the Ashuelot River

Removal of this dam is the final phase of a multi-year project to benefit Atlantic salmon, American shad, blueback herring, sea lamprey, American eels, dwarf wedge mussels, Eastern brook trout and the river environment.  Work has been delayed while the stability of the historic Thompson Bridge (upstream) is secured.  The project lead is the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.  The project is ongoing.

Athol, MA:  Thousand Acre Pond dam removal

The Town of Athol will first complete a comprehensive feasibility study to address removal of this dam.  Future funding will be phased to facilitate planning, design, engineering, permitting and demolition.  The Town has the lead on this project which benefits brook trout and the river environment.  The project is ongoing.

Fish Passage Projects Funded and/or Completed in 2007

Groveton, NH: Nash Stream Watershed Culvert Renovations

The New Hampshire Fish and Game is currently working with the USFWS and USGS to assess brook trout passage needs in the Nash Stream watershed. Culverts on Log Mountain Brook and Johnson Brook are included in the assessment. The research project includes a population assessment using genetic analysis as well as a movement study using PIT tags. This project funds renovation of these culverts, or others that may be identified in the process, if movement of brook trout is negatively impacted. Project is ongoing.

Fish Passage Projects Funded and/or Completed in 2006

Worthington, MA: Bronson Brook Culvert Renovations

Atlantic salmon, native brook trout, and dace will benefit from work to improve passage at two culverts on Bronson Brook, a tributary to the Westfield River. A total of 4.4 miles of habitat will be opened. The MAEOEA took the lead on this set of culvert projects in cooperation with others including the Town of Worthington. The perched culvert on Dingle Road will be replaced with a bottomless arched culvert. The Cummington Road culvert will be retrofitted by building up a stable riffle downstream to back water up into the perched culvert. The Dingle Road project was completed in 2006. The Cummington Road culvert and habitat restoration was completed in 2007.

Whately, MA: Culvert Assessments on Mitchell and Jimmy Brook

This research project compares brook trout passage at an embedded culvert located at the mouth of Jimmy Brook and a perched culvert located at the mouth of Mitchell Brook, both tributaries to West Brook. The objective is to better define passage needs (if any) at the perched brook. Preliminary data is surprising as probability of passage at the perch culvert is higher than expected. This is a cooperative project with USGS Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center and the MAEOEA. Project is ongoing.

Fish Passage Projects Funded and/or Completed in 2005

Westfield, MA: Retrofitted existing DSI Eelpass to return it to operational status. Completed in 2005.

Connecticut: Completed eight projects in an eel omnibus with the Connecticut Department of Environmental protection including upgrades to existing eelpasses, new projects and improved monitoring. Four barriers were removed. Project completed in fall 2005 and spring 2006.

Fish Passage Projects Funded and/or Completed in 2004

Riverhead, NY: Construction of a fishway for alewife at the South dam on the Peconic River.

The project will provide permanent fish passage at the first of five dams in the Peconic River watershed. It replaces a temporary Alaska steepass that was permitted for seasonal installation only. The fishway will ensure alewife access to 120 acres of spawning and nursery habitat. This is a cooperative project that will be completed with participation from the Peconic River Alewife Restoration Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Town of Riverhead, and USFWS Southern New England/New York Bight Coastal Ecosystem Program. Project is ongoing.

Swanzey, NH: River restoration feasibility study for the Homestead Woolen Mills dam on the Ashuelot River.

A comprehensive feasibility study lead to a decision to remove the Homestead Woolen Mills dam having addressed concerns about dam safety, preservation of the upstream Thompson Covered Bridge (1832), and fish passage. The project is being championed by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services with Town of Swanzey, New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, NOAA Restoration Center, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This link opens in a new windowFor more information, check out this Web site.

Ashuelot River basin, NH: Ashuelot River continuity assessment.

This project will provide an assessment of fragmentation within the Ashuelot River, and a set of priorities for addressing identified impediments (structures like road crossings, culverts, and dams) to the movement of fish and other aquatic organisms within the river. The Nature Conservancy, New Hampshire Chapter, will manage the project. Project completed in 2007.

Fish Passage Projects Funded and/or Completed in 2003

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service funded or partially funded seven projects:

Seymour, CT: Construction of an eelpass to benefit American eel at the Kinneytown Dam in the Naugatuck River (a Housatonic River tributary).

The project opened about 30 miles of habitat. This is a cooperative project with the Connecticut River/Long Island Sound Ecosystem Team, USFWS New England Field Office, and Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. Project completed in Fall 2003.

Old Lyme, CT: Construction of an eelpass to benefit American eel at the Lower Mill Pond Dam in the Mill Brook River (a Lieutenant River tributary).

This opened about 0.5 mile of habitat and complemented an Alaska steeppass project at the same site which benefits herring. This is a cooperative project with the Connecticut River/Long Island Sound Ecosystem Team, USFWS New England Field Office, and Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, among others. Project completed in Fall 2003.

East Haddam, CT: Removal of the Pizzini dam in the Eightmile River.

This project is expected to free the river opening the last 6.6 miles of the obstructed waterway. It is a cooperative project with the Connecticut River Watershed Council, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, and the Connecticut River/Long Island Ecosystem Team. Project completed in 2005.

Avon, CT: Renovation of the Nod Brook culvert.

The installation of baffles will benefit Atlantic salmon and brown trout. This should open about 1.5 miles of habitat. This is a cooperative project with the Farmington River Watershed Association and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. Project completed in 2005.

Colebrook, CT: Renovation of the Sandy Brook culvert.

Modifications of the bridge apron will benefit Atlantic salmon, brook and brown trout. Access to about 5.5 miles of habitat will be opened. This is a cooperative project with the Farmington River Watershed Association and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. Project completed in 2006.

Becket, MA: Ballou dam removal.

Removal of the dam will benefit Atlantic salmon, brook trout, brown trout, blacknose dace and white sucker in Yokum Brook, Becket, MA. The project will fully open about 2 miles of habitat. This is a cooperative project with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, the Town of Becket, Foresight Land Services, Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife, American Rivers, EPA/Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and NOAA. Project completed in 2007.

Cummington, MA: Renovation of the Tower Brook culvert.

This project will benefit Atlantic salmon, brook trout, slimy sculpin, white sucker, and blacknose dace in Tower Brook, a tributary to the Westfield River, in Cummington, MA. This project will open access to about a mile of habitat. This is a cooperative project with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife, NPS Wild and Scenic Rivers, and Westfield River Watershed Association. Project completed in 2005.

Fish Passage Projects Funded and/or Completed in 2002

Winchester, NH: Removal of the New England Box Company dam on the Ashuelot River.

The obsolete dam was considered a hazard for anglers and boaters. This provides about 15 miles of undammed access to spawning and nursery habitat in this segment of the Ashuelot River. It will help in the restoration of American shad, blueback herring and Atlantic salmon. This was a collaborative effort involving the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game, New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources, Connecticut River Watershed Council, Wildlife Forever, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Ashuelot River Local Advisory Committee, Town of Winchester, and the American Sportfishing Association’s Fish America Foundation. Project completed in 2002.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service funded or partially funded five projects:

Montague, MA: Construction of a natural instream bypass to benefit Atlantic salmon, brook and brown trout, sea lamprey, white suckers, and American eels at the Spaulding Brook dam on the Sawmill River.

This project should open access to about a mile of habitat. This is a cooperative project with the Connecticut River Watershed Council and Trout Unlimited, Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife, and the Sawmill River Watershed Alliance. Project is ongoing and in need of funds.

Orange, MA: Construction of an eelpass to benefit American eel at the New Home Dam in the Millers River.

This is a cooperative project with the Millers River Environmental Center, Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife, Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, U.S. Geological Survey, and O’Connell Energy Group. Project is ongoing.

Chicopee, MA: Construction of an eelpass to benefit American eel at the Dwight Street dam in the Chicopee River.

This was a cooperative project with the Chicopee River Watershed Council, Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife, Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, U.S. Geological Survey, Trout Unlimited and Consolidated Edison. This project will not be completed as funded because the Chicopee River Watershed Council has disbanded.

Hatfield, MA: Removal of Brook Hollow Road culvert near the mouth of the Mill River will benefit Atlantic salmon, sea lamprey, American eels, resident brook and brown trout and white suckers in the Mill River. It will also enhance dwarf wedge mussel habitat.

This is a cooperative project with the Town of Hatfield, Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife, Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, and Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA). Project completed in 2007.

Becket, MA: Removal of the Silk Mill dam to benefit Atlantic salmon and resident trout in Yokum Brook.

This is a cooperative project with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, the Town of Becket, Foresight Land Services, Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife, EPA/Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and NOAA. Project completed in 2003.

Fish Passage Projects Funded and/or Completed in 2001

Photo of the removal of the McGoldrick dam, a fish barrier, on the Ashuelot River in Hinsdale, NH - Photo credit:  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Photo of the removal of the McGoldrick dam, a fish barrier, on the Ashuelot River in Hinsdale, NH. Credit: USFWS
 

Hinsdale, NH: Removal of the obsolete McGoldrick dam on the Ashuelot River.

This was the first dam removal in New Hampshire and it freed this segment of the Ashuelot River for the first time in 173 years. It will help in the restoration of American shad, blueback herring and Atlantic salmon. This was a collaborative effort involving the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmoshpheric Administration, New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game, New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources, New Hampshire Department of Transportation, and the American Sportfishing Association’s Fish America Foundation. Project completed.

Greenfield, MA

USFWS funding originally assigned to the Podunk fishway in 2000 was formally re-granted to the Connecticut River Watershed Council for the general purpose of constructing one or more on-the-ground projects that improve fish access to spawning and nursery habitat in the Connecticut River basin. Accomplishments have been noted elsewhere on this Web site.

Fish Passage Projects Funded and/or Completed in 2000

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Connecticut River/Long Island Sound Ecosystem Team, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation partially funded construction of a fishway on the Podunk River in cooperation with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and the This link opens in a new windowConnecticut River Watershed Council. Project planning was completed and additional funding sources were secured. Unfortunately, an exploding population of beaver downstream of the dam later scuttled the project since long-term river herring access to the fishway through the many existing downstream beaver dams could not be guaranteed.

Please follow these links to learn more about fish passage issues and programs:

 

 
Last updated: September 8, 2010
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