The Connecticut River Valley chapter of Trout Unlimited (TU) has released a stream assessment report on some of the tributaries to the East Branch of the Deerfield River. The field work for the study was conducted by chapter members and other cooperating volunteers. Several tributaries were assessed for disturbances that damaged stream habitat for trout and other aquatic species.
“This is citizen science at its best,” said Erin Rodgers PhD, a TU national staff person assigned to southern Vermont who trained and supervised the volunteers in accurately using the TU Stream Assessment tool provided by the national organization to record their on the ground findings. “Volunteers walking stream and identifying threat to trout habitat.”
The next step for the chapter is to develop mitigation plans to address identified problems of eroded banks, lack of woody debris, and barriers to fish migration.
“This is a multiyear process,” said David Deen CRVTU chapter president, “the assessment is the first step. The next step is to design and fund the improvement work identified in the report over the next several years.”
“We would like to thank all of the landowners who allowed us access to their land to do this field work,” said Jack Widness, vice president of the TU chapter. “We are hopeful that they will allow us access now to do any mitigation we decide is necessary to improve these streams.”
The largest single landowner in the sub watershed is Great River Hydro, producer of hydroelectric power at the dams on the Deerfield River as well as individuals with land along the tributaries.
The chapter would like to thank the Deerfield River Environmental Fund (DREF), a fund within the Vermont Community Foundation family of funds. The DREF money allowed us to bring Erin Rodgers PhD into the project as an expert consultant.