Aquatic Habitat Connectivity
Improving fish passage, habitat connectivity and habitat stability have become an emphasis for the Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Resources Office habitat team.
Over the last 200 years, transportation and milling/manufacturing infrastructure has fragmented watersheds in Vermont and in the Adirondack Region of New York. Dams and undersized road crossings segmented habitat on every major river system. Those barriers impeded fish passage to historic spawning waters, cold water refuge streams and natal feeding grounds.
All fish species have been impacted by stream segmentation. However, our focus is primarily on trout waters essential to landlocked Atlantic salmon and Eastern brook trout. We also conduct in-stream stabilization projects to insure that those required habitats remain viable despite climate fluxuations such as flooding or high summer temperatures.
In recent years the Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Resources Office has focused on multiple efforts to improve, restore and stabilize stream habitat. Activities and efforts include:
Partner with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, The Nature Conservancy, and SUNY Plattsburgh to assess, inventory, and prioritize stream crossing structures in the Lake Champlain and Connecticut River (Vermont) Basins.
Assist various Federal, state and private partners to replace or retrofit culverts and remove dams in Vermont and New York.
Actively participant on the Vermont Dam Task Force, an inter-agency team focused on the restoration of rivers through dam removal.
Conduct in-stream and riparian restoration projects designed to stabilize streams that promote stable habitat that will support healthy and sustainable aquatic communities.
Encourage our partners to consider climate fluxuations in their designs by assisting and/or funding projects that provide flood resiliency, habitat stability and warm water refuge.
2013 Project Accomplishments:
Roaring Brook, Barrett Rd, Underhill, VT. Click here for project sheet
Nason Brook, Woodlawn Cemetery, Rochester, VT Click here for project sheet
Crane Brook, Irish Settlement Rd, Underhill, VT Click here for project sheet
Nason Brook, Moose Run, Rochester, VT Click here for project sheet
Howe Brook, Oak Lodge Rd, Rochester, VT Click here for project sheet
Upper East Branch of the Nulhegan River, Sable Mountain Rd, Averill, VT Click here for project sheet
2012 Project Accomplishments:
Bartlett Rd: Lewis Brook, Jay, NY. Replaced after TS Irene.
Hayford: Trout Brook, Hayford Rd, Ticonderoga, NY. Newly replaced culvert survived TS Irene with minimal damage.
Horsemans: Herring Brook, Moretown, VT . Tank culvert damaged in TS Irene. Project Sheet
Marshfield 8: Marshfield 8 Dam, Winooski River, Marshfield, VT. Restored 4 miles of habitat. Project Sheet
N. Hollow: Marsh Brook, North Hollow Rd, Rochester, VT. Culvert washed out in TS Irene. Project Sheet
Upper Jay: Upper Jay Dam, Lewis Brook, Trib to the Ausable River Jay, NY. Restored 5 miles of habitat. Project Sheet