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Massachusetts DEP Land Acquisition Will Help Protect Critical Sea-Run Brook Trout Habitat
Land protection will complement TU’s restoration work on Red Brook
Arlington, Va.Trout Unlimited (TU) applauds the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and its Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) for its purchase of 245 acres on Red Brook in Wareham and Plymouth. The land provides critical habitat to one of the last remaining sea-run brook trout populations in the state.
“The state of Massachusetts has shown unprecedented support for coldwater fisheries by protecting this land,” said Joe Overlock, chair of TU’s Massachusetts council. “This purchase, combined with the hard work of TU members and others who have invested their time in protecting Red Brook, will go a long way towards protecting sea run brook trout.”
Yesterday, the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and its Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) announced that the land acquisition had occurred. The 245-acre parcel, commonly known as Century Bog, was purchased from A.D. Makepeace Company for $3 million. Funding for the purchase comes from the state’s $1.7 billion Energy and Environment Bond Bill.
The land acquisition will help protect the Red Brook watershed and habitat for sea-run brook trout, as well as other fish and wildlife.
TU has worked on Red Brook for a number of years, and has worked with DFG’s Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) to remove several levees, berms, small dams and dikes in Red Brook. The groups have planted trees and root wads to the stream to enhance habitat and have planted native riparian species along the restored stream channel in Theodore Lyman Reserve. These restoration efforts have been in partnership with MassWildlife, A.D. Makepeace, The Trustees of Reservations, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the USGS, American Rivers, the Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership, University of Massachusetts Boston, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, the towns of Wareham, Plymouth, and Bourne and DFG’s Division of Marine Fisheries.
“This is a great example of using land protection to protect an entire watershed and an entire ecosystem,” said Nat Gillespie, TU’s Director of Eastern Lands Protection. “It’s one of the last river systems south of Maine that has a thriving sea run brook trout population.”
Sea-run brook trout or salters live in fresh water from spring to fall, and spawn in the autumn before spending the winter in near-shore ocean waters. A variant of Massachusetts’ native brook trout, they are larger than typical brook trout due to feeding on abundant food resources in salt water during winter months.