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Travel back in time 200 years, when the mighty Connecticut ran free and clear, and massive brook trout swam throughout a system unfettered by dams and unspoiled by industry. Walk along scenic mountain streams and, in your mind, cast to rising brookies in water so cold and clear you’d consider drinking it yourself. It’s a brilliant past, and while returning to it may never be fully attainable, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to imagine a Connecticut River that once again hosts big brook trout and the chance to catch them.
Trout Unlimited is working in the Connecticut system—the largest watershed in New England—to restore critical habitat in the river’s tributaries and reconnect streams that have been fragmented by culverts, stream crossings and historic damage from logging. What’s more, we’re developing the needed partnerships to sustain this effort for years to come. Perhaps one day, the Connecticut will again be a river of legend.
TU is using proven techniques to return the Upper Connecticut River and its tributaries to their former glory. By restoring vital habitat, such as pools, riffles and cover in tributary streams, we’re making the watershed more hospitable to native brook trout and wild brown trout, which makes for more—and better—angling opportunity.
We're also addressing connectivity problems—removing or replacing misbehaving culverts is a solution that can open up miles of habitat to migrating trout, and give fry and fingerlings need nursery habitat. As these trout get larger, they’ll be able to move throughout the system, providing more fishing chances for anglers.
We know how to fix the problems facing the river—we’ve been doing so since 2005.
We started our work in the Upper Connecticut on Nash Stream in New Hampshire, where heritage-strain brook trout are still found. More recently, we’ve moved on to Indian Stream in New Hampshire and to Vermont's Nulheagan River. We’ve reconnected and restored 21 miles of stream and leveraged $2.3 million toward 14 on-the-ground projects. Today, the Upper Connecticut fishes better than it has for decades.
Joe Norton, Upper Connecticut Home Rivers Initiative Project Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Erin MooneyEastern Conservation Communications Director
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