South River

Project News – A hydrology and hydraulics (H&H) study is currently being conducted from Chandler Pond to Veterans Memorial Park Dam to provide a better understanding of the dynamics of water in in this stretch of the South River and provide data that will be important for future decisions about removing Chandler Pond dam, culvert maintenance, and operations of the Veterans Memorial Park Dam.

The South River is a 15-mile river that with its headwaters at Round Pond in Duxbury. It flows through Duxbury and Marshfield, and is a tidal estuary to the first impediment, Veterans Memorial Park Dam, 8.8 miles from Massachusetts Bay. There are currently three dams on the South River mainstem along with multiple cranberry bogs.  The South River has an active river herring run as well as pockets of isolated Eastern brook trout in headwater tributaries.

Veterans Memorial Park Dam

The first impediment on the South River is a dam at Veterans Memorial Park, 8.8 miles from the ocean, owned by the Town of Marshfield. It has a pool and weir fish ladder that passes fish provided proper flow management occurs. Our current work here includes monitoring the herring run and working with Mass. Division of Marine Fisheries and our partners in the town to ensure that adequate flows are provided for the fish ladder in the spring and fall.

Chandler Pond Dam

The first true impediment to passage is the privately-owned Chandler Pond Dam, 9.5 miles upstream from the ocean. Chandler Pond has a primary spillway on the concrete dam structure that is controlled with flashboards, as well as a secondary outlet that provides an additional release during periods of high flows. Chandler Pond Dam is in poor shape, with vegetation including large trees on the dam crest and evidence of crumbling stonework and previous overtopping. There is currently a hydraulics and hydrology study being conducted from Chandler Pond down to Veterans Memorial Park to better understand the dynamics of flow at the dam and downstream where some flooding that has been occurring.

Temple Street Dam

The Town of Duxbury owns this small dam off Temple Street.  The Temple Street Dam consists of an earthen berm with a 2-chamber concrete spillway. This dam also has a history of beaver activity, creating a maintenance nuisance for the town. A tributary to the South River, Phillips Brook, enters upstream of Temple Street dam and has been documented as brook trout habitat by Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

Feinberg and Garside Bogs

The Feinberg Bog was acquired in 1971 by the Town of Duxbury as 100 acres of conservation land and contains ~0.3 miles of stream. The bog has flumes at the upstream and downstream end; the berm adjacent to the downstream flume has failed due likely to overtopping and clogging due to beaver activity. The 61-acre Garside Bogs were acquired by the Town of Duxbury for conservation land in 1979. There are upstream and downstream flumes at this site that could potentially cause impediments to flow should they collapse. Much like the Feinberg Bogs and Temple St. Dam, the Garside Bog flumes are popular frameworks for beavers constructing dams, and there is ample evidence onsite of repeated flow restoration efforts through beaver dam removal.