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Nash Stream Restoration Press Release - New Hampshire

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Nash Stream Restoration Press Release - New Hampshire
12/1/2008
ODELL, NH--- Improvements to Coos County's Nash Stream were completed last month, restoring habitat and creating opportunities for native brook trout to again thrive in the stream.

The restoration work was completed last month and was the result of a collaboration between the New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands, Trout Unlimited and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Improvements included the replacement of a culvert on Long Mountain Brook, the removal of a 2,000 square-foot berm alongside Nash Stream, and the elimination of a stream crossing on lower Pike Brook. Another culvert was removed last year on Farrer Brook.

The project is in the Nash Stream State Forest, which is owned by the NH Division of Forests and Lands, and cooperatively managed by the NH Division of Forests and Lands and the NH Fish and Game Department.

"The work completed this fall marks a significant step forward in restoring a self-sustaining fishery in Nash Stream. We're fortunate to be working with such capable and willing partners," said Jim MacCartney, River Restoration Specialist at Trout Unlimited.

"These stream improvements will reconnect critical tributary spawning and rearing habitat for brook trout and Atlantic salmon and provide additional shading along the stream to protect water temperatures for these coldwater species". said John Magee, Fish Habitat Biologist with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

Historically, Nash Stream was known as a high quality native brook trout stream that provided exceptional angling opportunities. It also used to provide habitat for Atlantic salmon. In 1969, the dam used to release water from adjacent Nash Bog Pond for log drives failed, sending a torrent of water down Nash Stream. As a result, Nash Stream was greatly affected-- its course straightened and its banks eroded. Consequently, much of the habitat was altered. Water temperatures increased, making it uninhabitable for brook trout and other fish.

Many of the tributary stream crossings along the Nash Stream Road were built using culverts. Because some were undersized, over time they became perched, meaning there was a drop at the outlet. As a result, brook trout were no longer able to move upstream.

The project is funded by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, the New Hampshire Division of Forest and Lands and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation's Upper Connecticut River Mitigation and Enhancement Fund. The project's total cost was $130,000.

The restoration work was done by Cloutier Sand and Gravel, staff from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, Trout Unlimited and the New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands.

Nash Stream has been affected since the late 1800s by logging and gravel mining operations. As a result, nearly seven miles of the stream were devoid of habitat for fish. In addition, there were poorly designed culverts on old logging roads along the stream which blocked or impeded fish passage to critical tributary habitat.

During construction of the new culvert at Long Mountain Brook, the Nash Stream Road had to be closed for five days, but was reopened in time for weekend use.

“We were pleased that no unforeseen circumstances prevented us from reopening the road on schedule. The new culvert substantially upgrades a crossing that failed several previous years and assures public and camp owner access to the Nash Stream Forest,” said Maggie Machinist, Forester with the New Hampshire Division of Forest and Lands.

Restoration work on Nash Stream will continue in 2009. The culvert at Johnson Brook is scheduled to be replaced in May, and habitat restoration will continue next summer downstream of Nash Bog.

For more information, please contact Jim MacCartney, River Restoration Specialist, at (603) 226-3436 or John Magee, Fish Habitat Biologist, at (603) 271-2744.

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