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!