Crews spent weeks loading Poorfarm Brook in Gilford, N.H., with wood structures to enhance habitat.
By Colin Lawson and Erin Rodgers
Trout Unlimited’s staff had a busy year in New Hampshire in 2018, spending some time monitoring previously completed projects, installing new projects, and evaluating opportunities for new projects in 2019 and 2020.
From site visits, to completing field surveys, to conducting eight community workshops, TU staff did a little of everything in 2018.
One major project that consumed a lot of hours for the field team this past summer was installing over 3 miles of large wood habitat work, in just under four weeks, on Poorfarm Brook in Gilford, N.H.
This was an exciting project completed in partnership with the Belknap County Conservation District, that has gained a lot of attention in the New Hampshire lakes region area and spurred workshops and field trainings for community members and forestry professionals throughout the region.
Key projects completed in 2018:
•Poorfarm Brook Large Wood Habitat Project (Lake Winnipesauke tributary, Gilford, N.H.): Installed 3 miles of large wood habitat through both state and private lands. Multiple private and public stakeholders supported this brook trout habitat effort, which was funded through National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and N.H. Moose Plate grants and initiated by the Belknap County Conservation District.
•Ammonoosuc River Restoration ~ A Community Development Project (Childs Brook, Bath, N.H.): This was a multi-partner collaboration with Ammonoosuc TU Chapter, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, and local conservation commission to restore three culverts, reopening 10 miles of upstream habitat.
- Andorra Forest Instream Reconnection & By-pass Channel, (Robinson Brook, Stoddard, N.H.): This is a multi-year, Natural Resources Conservation Service-supported project to reconnect Robinson Brook to its headwaters. TU installed a 250-foot step-pool by-pass channel (above) to reconnect the upstream reach to downstream channel, opening nearly 5 miles of interconnect habitat/refugia for spawning brook trout.
- Community Flood Resiliency & Restoration Workshops: TU presented to more than 20 communities across New Hampshire as part of a multi-year project to share culvert assessment, technical assistance, and project support to interested towns. The program introduces participants to benefits of proper culvert sizing and reconnecting stream for aquatic habitat/refugia.
- Lamprey River Community Project (Great Bay tributary, Lee, N.H.): This is multi-partner collaboration to reopen close to 4 miles of recreational paddling access on this Wild and Scenic river.
- Lower Merrimack River Culvert Assessment Project: Completed assessment of more than 256 road crossings within seven towns along the I93 corridor, working with NHGS to identify wetland habitat and hydraulically vulnerable infrastructure.
- Oliverian Brook Project (Connecticut River tributary, Haverhill, NH): Continue to monitor a 42-foot bridge installed on this tributary with headwaters on the White Mountain National Forest. TU completed the design and engineering as well as overseeing bids and construction oversight and monitoring post construction conditions. Funding was supplied by Haverhill, the Connecticut River Conservancy, NHCF Mitigation and Enhancement Fund.
The extensive efforts in New Hampshire will continue in 2019. Among the plans are to host an additional 10 Community Outreach Workshops, enhancing 2 miles of the Gunstock River with large wood habitat, replacing three culverts and enhancing habitat on 2 miles of Indian stream, and installing 2 miles of wood habitat in Nash Stream.
Colin Lawson is the New England project coordinator for Trout Unlimited. He is based in New Hampshire. Erin Rodgers, based in Vermont, is the western New England project manager for Trout Unlimited.