Over the past few years, NSRWA inventoried and assessed all the dams, culverts, and other impediments to natural stream flow in the North and South River systems, and prioritized these for action. Together with our friends at the local Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, we determined that removing a small culvert near the mouth of Iron Mine Brook would yield great wildlife benefits for very little cost.
After securing a professional wetlands scientist, Ivas Environmental Consulting and surveyor, Cavanaro Consulting, both of Norwell to provide pro-bono assistance in filing the necessary permits with the Hanover Conservation Commission, the Town of Hanover DPW removed the culvert in November 2016. Once the culvert was removed, erosion control was put in place and the stream banks were replanted with native vegetation. In addition to removing the culvert, we are currently building a wooden footbridge over the brook to reconnect the walking trails at this site.
This project begins the restoration of native fish habitat access, to ultimately up to 3.32 miles of stream within Iron Mine Brook (IMB) watershed located in Hanover, as a cold water refuge for native fish. Brook trout need water cooler than 70 degrees to live in. Field work in 2013 confirmed that there was a reproducing native Eastern Brook Trout population upstream of the culvert. We also know that stocked Brook Trout in the Indian Head River itself would seek refuge here, and that there are other tributaries within the Indian Head watershed that have native Brook Trout.