• Brodie Haenke

Dam Removal Effort Continues in Bakersfield

The District continued our work with US Fish and Wildlife Service in 2020 on removing the Johnsons Mill Dam in Bakersfield to restore and reconnect habitat for native brook trout in the Bogue Branch. The Johnsons Mill Dam, built on the Bogue Branch near Witchcat Road, was once a productive sawmill but is now in a state of deterioration after decades of disuse. Removing the dam will reconnect 22 stream miles and allow brook trout to move upstream and downstream of the dam, allowing them to access the cool, high-elevation streams they need during Vermont’s hot summer months. Dam removals also improve water quality by allowing streams to naturally transport sediment and by helping mitigate excessive erosion in the case of a dam failure. Thanks to support from the Lake Champlain Basin Program, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, and Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, the project is fully now funded and we expect to remove the dam in summer 2021. The fine, nutrient-rich sediment being removed from the former impoundment of the dam will be transported down the road to Gervais Family Farm where it will be spread and incorporated into one of their fields to grow crops.

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