Cold Brook Dam

Photo courtesy of Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC)

Cold Brook is a roughly 5-mile long tributary to the North Branch of the Deerfield River. The small hydro dam was no longer generating power, and the private landowner gave permission for this river restoration project in order to improve fish passage for native trout and other aquatic organisms. State data shows good to excellent fish and aquatic organism health in the brook, so removal would protect and enhance that habitat for even more river critters. The Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC) & U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service removed the dam in August 2018.

Find a time-lapse video of the dam removal here.

In addition to removing an obstacle to the movement of wildlife who live in this river, the dam removal re-established the natural stream flows, allowing sediment to move downstream. The river will, from now on, be colder without the small reservoir behind the dam, which is good news for spawning brook trout in this tributary. The restoration project took less than 2 weeks to complete, with additional tree plantings scheduled for the fall of 2018. CRC and USFWS will continue to monitor the site.

Partners: National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, the Conservation Alliance, Vermont State Wildlife Grant. CRC hired Trout Unlimited and Stone Environmental for the engineering design plans.

Funding: CRC received grant funding for this project from the The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Connecticut River Coordinator’s Office provided funding via the National Fish Passage Program and the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, as well as the staff who operated the excavators and other machinery necessary for this river restoration project.