Forests and Lakes – For People – Forever ®

Breaking Down Habitat Barriers on the Downeast Lakes Region’s Brooks

October 3, 2014

IMG_0009 In two cooperative projects, the Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT), Lyme Timber, the Natural Resources  Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Project SHARE have removed barriers to fish  movement on both Amazon and Billy Brown Brooks this fall.

In DLLT’s largest project of this kind to date, an 18 foot wide and 9 foot high bottomless arch was placed  under the west branch of Amazon Rd.  By removing the undersized and beaver blocked culvert, Amazon  Brook will return to being a cold, swift flowing waterway with trout moving up and down it to feed and  spawn. The new structures also will reduce road maintenance costs, prevent flooding in high water  events, and improve nutrient and sediment flow within the St. Croix watershed.  Considering the size of  the arch, DLLT Community Forest Manager Kyle Burdick remarked, “It will also allow for canoe passage!”

In a smaller project at the heart of Grand Lake Stream, work removing two undersized plastic culverts  closed Shaw St. on October 1st.  To replace the culverts where Billy Brown Brook passes under the road,  the DLLT installed a concrete arch made by Dirigo/Timberlands in North Anson, ME.

A small tributary to Grand Lake Stream with a history of providing a cold-water summer habitat for brook  trout and other species, this is the second structure of its kind installed in road crossings on Billy Brown  Brook in as many years. “We’ve prioritized and dealt with the most significant habitat barriers on streams  in the Farm Cove Community Forest. Now we are in a position to help neighbors financially and  logistically.” said Burdick.   Both structures were installed by Hanscom Construction Inc. of Marshfield,  ME.

All signs point to the success of the project, as fingerling landlocked salmon were found during preliminary  electro-fishing in Billy Brown Brook by IF&W staff.   While these projects have been met with  overwhelming support and interest from the community of the Downeast Lakes Region, the DLLT  recognizes and appreciates the patience and goodwill shown during the road closures.  The DLLT sends  its thanks to the community for their patience and good-natured support, and wishes everyone many  exciting trout seasons in the future!