Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT) will continue its work with partners to restore brook trout habitat on priority streams in the headwaters of the Machias River and the west branch of the Saint Croix River by removing passage barriers. Two sites are located within DLLT’s 33,708-acre Farm Cove Community Forest. One is in the adjacent 22,000-acre West Grand Lake Forest owned by GLS Woodlands and conserved under a conservation easement held by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, & Forestry. The fourth site is on a municipal road in the village of Grand Lake Stream. DLLT will hire a local contractor and coordinate a partnership between the Natural Resources Conservation Service and U.S Fish and Wildlife Service Maine Fisheries Resource Office. On two larger streams (West Branch Amazon Brook and Grand Lake Brook), we anticipate using corrugated metal bottomless arch structures. On the two smaller streams, we anticipate using a pre-cast concrete bottomless arch product that DLLT used for the first time in 2013 with EBTJV support. This project will result in restoration of upstream passage to approximately 6.4 miles of habitat. It will provide access to a cold water tributary from Grand Lake Stream and between two major tributaries of Grand Lake Brook. Restoring natural stream function will improve brook trout habitat on 4 streams.
2012 extreme storm damage in West Virginia has suspended down trees over a native brook trout stream offering no LWD habitat benefits, potentially introducing tributary fish passage barriers, potentially introducing an “over-shadowing” effect in an already well-shaded system, and presenting significant obstruction to stream recreation and fishing. It will take decades for these storm damages to rectify naturally with the potential for negative effects on stream bank stability and sedimentation. Strategically removing and placing LWD according to an assessment and scoring methodology on Mill Creek will hasten the incorporation of sustainable in stream LWD habitat for long-term brook trout fishery benefits. This project proposes to utilize principals of natural stream restoration and “chop and drop” LWD placement to address suspended tree storm damage on 6 miles of Mill Creek, WV in Kumbrabow State Forest, one of West Virginia’s 4 intact brook trout populations. Furthermore, this project will identify and address tributary fish passage barriers with debris removal and/or culvert replacement with baffled systems.