Strafford, VT – The Connecticut River Watershed Council today announced the completion of a $120,000 culvert replacement project on Abbott Brook in Strafford, VT that will improve flood resiliency and allow for fish passage into the Podunk State Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The project opens five miles of stream habitat to the WMA, benefiting brook trout and other aquatic species.

The project was coordinated by the Connecticut River Watershed Council, working in partnership with the Town of Strafford, Vermont Fish & Wildlife, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  “We expect many trout and other fish to benefit from removing the undersized, perched culvert and putting a bigger structure that allows fish passage in the stream,” commented CRWC River Steward Ron Rhodes.

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In addition to the federal and state funding support, CRWC received a grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Upper Connecticut River Mitigation and Enhancement Fund program.  CRWC also thanks project partners Green Mountain Power and Fairpoint Communications for their assistance.  Northwoods Excavating of Thetford, VT was the primary contractor, with Miller Construction and Michie Corp. also involved.

CRWC thanks all of its partners for their work in identifying and helping remove structures that block access to habitat and disrupt natural stream flows.  “Communities throughout New England are finding that removing barriers like this not only opens up habitat for fish, but also makes our roads more likely to survive the next big flood,” said Rhodes.

The Connecticut River Watershed Council is a membership based non-profit organization who works with towns, landowners and others to improve the health of the Connecticut River watershed from source to sea.  To learn more, visit www.ctriver.org.

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Ron Rhodes, North Country River Steward

802-457-6114

Connecticut River Watershed Council

www.ctriver.org