Celebrating Stream Restoration

Replacing an undersized culvert with a much larger, open-bottom arch enables both fish and floodwater to pass more easily under Hale Hill Road. (photos: Brett Amy Thelen & Gabe Bolin)

Replacing an undersized culvert with a much larger, open-bottom arch enables both fish and floodwater to pass more easily under Hale Hill Road.
(photos: Brett Amy Thelen & Gabe Bolin)

Ten years ago, our citizen scientists surveyed nearly 1,000 culverts and bridges throughout the Ashuelot River watershed to see where fish and aquatic wildlife movement were most impacted by roads. In the years since, we’ve worked with many partners to prioritize sites for stream restoration, based in large part on the data collected by our citizen scientists.

Now, restoration work is nearly complete on one of our highest-priority sites: an undersized culvert at Hale Hill Road in Swanzey has just been replaced with a new, flood-resilient and wildlife-friendly open-bottom arch crossing, re-connecting more than 20 miles of stream habitat in Falls Brook and the Ashuelot River for wild brook trout, dace, and other wildlife.

As with most things, partnership is the key to success, and we’re thrilled to be working with Trout Unlimited, the Cheshire County Conservation District, NHFG, NRCS, Keene State College, and the Town of Swanzey to restore fish passage to Falls Brook. We’re also grateful for support from the State Conservation Committee, NHDES, NHFG, the Town of Swanzey, and the NH Association of Conservation Districts.

To learn more about this exciting project, join us for a Volunteer Stream Restoration Workday on October 3, or for Why Did the Brook Trout Cross the Road? An Introduction to Fish- and Flood-Friendly Stream Crossings on November 17. For more information on either of these upcoming events, visit our online calendar or contact Brett Amy Thelen at (603) 358-2065 or thelen@harriscenter.org.