Mill Pond Dam










Overview: VNRC, with support and assistance from partners including the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy, broke ground in August 2019 on the removal of Mill Pond Dam on Indian Brook in Colchester, which had not served a purpose since the last mill it powered burned down in 1941.

The deteriorating dam was classified by the state Dam Safety Program as a “significant hazard,” meaning there was potential for loss of life and “appreciable” economic loss should the dam fail.

In addition to eliminating 2,200 feet of free-flowing riverine habitat, the dam’s impoundment had filled in the former mill pond with an estimated 17 tons of phosphorus. Phosphorus contributes to algae blooms and excessive aquatic plant growth in Lake Champlain that degrade water quality, harm fish and wildlife, and limit recreational use of the lake.

Benefits: The dam removal project reconnected 31 miles of stream, bringing Indian Brook closer to its natural free-flowing state and restoring habitat for a diverse aquatic habitat. At completion, Indian Brook was already forming new riffles, pools, sediment bars, and snags, and initial vegetation was growing in. The aquatic habitat became immediately more diverse, with river otters, great blue heron, coyote, black bear, deer, red-shouldered hawk, and minnows appearing in and alongside the stream.

Read more here about the removal of Mill Pond Dam.

Find the Historic Resources Report for Mill Pond Dam here.