Horse Brook Culvert Replacement Project to Move Forward

New York Governor Cuomo announced in October that $3.9 million dollars in funds will go to support water quality improvement projects throughout New York. Trout Unlimited (TU) is one of the recipients of the New York State Water Quality Improvement Program grants. TU in partnership with the Town of Colchester and Theodore Gordon Flyfishers will replace the Horse Brook culvert on Roger’s Hill Road near Roscoe, NY. The replacement of the culvert will open up 2.3 miles of historic spawning habitat for Beaverkill trout. Project implementation is set to move forward in summer 2015.

Horse Brook culvert is currently a barrier to fish and because it is undersized does not allow for the passage of flood waters. Undersized culverts are a concern for local municipalities as frequent flood events have caused significant damage in these small communities where resources are limited. Working with local municipalities to remove barriers to fish passage and help improve flood resiliency in our communities is a national and state priority for Trout Unlimited.

 “By replacing the Horse Brook culvert we are achieving multiple objectives; improved water quality, aquatic organism passage and updated infrastructure for the Town which will hopefully help mitigate flooding issues.” said Arthur Merrill, Town of Colchester supervisor.

Horse Brook is a tributary to the Beaverkill and is a priority project for TU and our partners. Known as the birthplace of American fly-fishing, this area is a destination for many thousands of fisherman and women each year. Restoring and improving these waters improves fishing and is good for the local economy dependent on those traveling to the area to recreate. “ The Horse Brook Project will improve trout spawning habitat on the Beaverkill.  Anglers come from all over the world  to fish the Beaverkill for its wild trout and by replacing the fish barrier on Horse Brook and reconnecting critical spawning habitat, the project will help to sustain new generations of wild trout.” said Bert Darrow, President of the Theodore Gordon Flyfishers.

Additional support for the project include funds from the Millennium Stream Improvement Fund, a fund developed as part of the initial permitting and construction of the Millennium Pipeline that runs through the southern tier of New York. The Fund was established by Millennium Pipeline, LLC for the purpose of improving stream conditions in the areas near to the pipeline route. TU was selected as the organization to administer these projects and is working in cooperation with local organizations to develop and implement projects. Other important funders include Theodore Gordon Flyfishers, Orvis, the Camp Fire Conservation Fund Inc., the New York City Chapter of TU, the Long Island Chapter of TU, TU Conservation Fund and the NY Fisheries Enhancement Fund.

 "With more than 8,000 members in 32 chapters across New York state, TU’s New York members have been actively working with local communities to protect and restore coldwater streams throughout New York,” said Ron Urban, chair of TU’s New York council. “The Horse Brook project will continue our efforts to improve water quality in our rivers and streams.”

For more information about the Horse Brook Project, contact Tracy Brown, TU’s Northeastern Restoration Coordinator, at


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