Reconnecting 292 downstream river miles with upstream cold water habitat
Coldwater streams are among the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ most endangered ecosystems. The benefits we were able to achieve through this project will have an effect on sensitive native species habitat and local communities for years to come. The result was the restoration of aquatic and riparian habitat continuity, improvement of water quality, and enhancement of riverine function in Amethyst Brook.
This project is the first successful dam removal project in the Connecticut River watershed in Massachusetts. Removal of the aging, non-functioning Bartlett Rod Shop Company Dam eliminated the liability and cost associated with dam ownership and provided an important opportunity for coldwater fisheries resource enhancement, restoring access to high quality coldwater upstream habitat for a range of fish species including eastern brook trout, American eel, sea lamprey, and slimy sculpin. As a testament to successful habitat restoration, sea lamprey were observed spawning in the project reach of Amethyst Brook just six months after project completion.
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