Orvis and TU have teamed up to reconnect 1,000 miles of fishable streams throughout the country by remediating poorly functioning culverts. The Horseshoe Brook culvert replacement in New Hampshire’s Nash Stream Forest is one of several projects funded in 2013 by the Orvis-Trout Unlimited 1,000 Miles Campaign. Funding for the campaign comes directly from Orvis customers whose donations are then matched dollar-for-dollar by the company.
Poorly designed culverts can impede fish passage in a variety of ways. Some become “perched” requiring fish to jump into them in order to access important upstream habitat. If the height is too great, the culvert can be a complete barrier to fish.
Replacement of the Horseshoe Brook culvert was part of a multi-year effort by the New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and TU to restore and reconnect habitat for native brook trout in the Nash Stream watershed which was significantly impacted by a catastrophic dam break more than 40 years ago. The watershed remains a stronghold in New Hampshire for native brook trout, despite the dam break.
The Horseshoe Brook culvert was replaced in May, prior to the scheduled annual re-opening of the Nash Stream Road to vehicular traffic before the Memorial Day weekend.
“Replacing the Horseshoe Brook culvert was an important step in restoring a robust brook trout population in Nash Stream and its tributaries,” said Jim MacCartney, river restoration director at Trout Unlimited. “It reconnected important spawning and rearing habitat and provided access to coldwater refuge that these temperature-sensitive fish haven’t been able to get to in nearly half a century.”
Listen to a recent New Hampshire Public Radio profile of TU's work on Nash Stream.
The Horseshoe Brook culvert replacement is a great example of the kind of success that can be achieved with the help of Orvis, as well as its customers who appreciate and value reconnected fish habitat and the better fishing opportunities that come with it. Orvis has made similar commitments to at least seven other ongoing projects, with many more to come.
Additional funding for the Horseshoe Brook project was provided by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Upper Connecticut River Mitigation and Enhancement Fund, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.