Over the past few years, NSRWA inventoried and assessed all the dams, culverts, and other impediments to natural streamflow in the North and South River systems, and prioritized these for action. Together with Trout Unlimited and the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, we determined that removing a small culvert and rock dam near the mouth of Iron Mine Brook would yield great wildlife benefits for very little cost.
The town of Hanover is planning to start the work to remove the culvert next Monday and hopes to be done by the end of the week. The species that will benefit most from this project is Eastern Native Brook Trout – Click here for more info on this species condition in our state. The tributaries in our watershed still harbor remnant populations, but their habitat is fragmented by dams and culverts, and their habitat is further impacted by warm water temperatures created by dams. Brook trout need water cooler than 70 degrees to live in.
The project will open up 1/2 mile of stream habitat to allow for cooler water refuge for native fish, and will engage the public in understanding the need for stream restoration. It will pave the way for us to assess the next steps needed for additional stream restoration in the rest of Iron Mine Brook.
In addition to removing the culvert, we would to build a wooden footbridge over the brook to reconnect the walking trails at this site. If you would like to volunteer to help build the bridge click here. We are also looking for people who might have a generator that could be brought to the site for the building project. We are hoping to arrange a few workdays in November.