Replacement of the Horseshoe Brook culvert in Stratford, NH is part of the Orvis/TU 1,000 Miles campaign; an effort to restore and reconnect fish habitat across the country. The Brook is a tributary of Nash Stream, which was significantly impacted by a catastrophic dam break at Nash Bog Pond in May 1969.The New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and Trout Unlimited have been working for several years to restore the watershed and its native brook trout fishery. The watershed remains a stronghold for brook trout in northern New Hampshire.
“Large, intact watersheds are critical for the long-term survival of brook trout,” said John Magee, fish habitat biologist with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. “Restoring brook trout habitat on public lands such as the Nash Stream Forest helps protect the species against climate change and other environmental challenges.”
The project began in May 2013. The culvert replacement work was done by Cloutier Sand and Gravel, assisted by staff from the New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and Trout Unlimited.
Poorly designed culverts can impede fish passage in a variety of ways. Many become “perched” requiring fish to jump into them in order to access critical upstream habitat. Sometimes if the height is too great the culvert is a complete barrier to fish.
“Replacing the Horseshoe Brook culvert is another important step in restoring a robust brook trout population in Nash Stream and its tributaries,” said Jim MacCartney, river restoration director at Trout Unlimited. “It will reconnect important spawning and rearing habitat and provide refuge from warm water for these sensitive coldwater fish.”
The project is funded by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Upper Connecticut River Mitigation and Enhancement Fund, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the Orvis Company.