North & South Rivers Watershed Association

Healthy Rivers are Connected: Restoring Rivers by Removing Dams and Culverts that Block Fish Passage

Funding for removal of the Cardinal Cushing Dam complete!
With a commitment from Federal sources of $98,000 for removal of the dam, all funds are in place and we hope a contractor can begin work this December. Removal of this dam, together with removal of the Mill Pond Dam two years ago, would open unrestricted passage of more than 8 miles from where the brook enters the North River to the Hanover Mall dam on the Third Herring Brook.

Iron Mine Brook culvert removal moves ahead
Iron Mine Brook (IMB) flows into the Indian Head River just below Luddam’s Ford Park and the Indian Head dam and fish ladder. A population of native Eastern Brook Trout live in Iron Mine Brook upstream of this culvert, but at low flows this culvert might as well be a dam to the fish as they cannot pass it. This leaves the Brook Trout downstream unable to reach the cooler, spring fed waters upstream of this culvert that they need to survive. Removal of the culvert will reconnect the Iron Mine Brook to the Indian Head during the summer and allow the Brook Trout to survive the ever increasing summer temperatures in the Indian Head River.

The IMB culvert removal is a rare example of a simple, relatively inexpensive, noncontroversial project that by itself would open up 0.5 mile of the brook’s upper reaches for fish passage, and greatly improve fish habitat. This past fall with pro bono assistance from Ivas Wetland Environmental, Cavanaro Consulting, and Trout Unlimited we secured the permits needed to remove this culvert, and with volunteers we will be constructing a footbridge over the brook to replace it. The Town of Hanover DPW will be removing the culvert over the next few month.

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