Frost Gully Brook: Sea Run Brook Trout Dam Removal Site Visit
July 20 @ 9:30 am - 11:00 am EDTFree
Frost Gully Brook, a tiny coastal watershed in suburban Freeport Maine, is home to a population of sea run “salter” brook trout that was “discovered” by volunteers from TU’s Merrymeeting Bay Chapter in 2017. Subsequent surveys by the Maine’s Inland Fisheries Division documented a thriving population of brook trout in several stream reaches and tributaries. Water temperature monitoring identified what allows brook trout to thrive in a watershed designated by Maine’s DEP as an “urban impaired stream”—multiple source of cold, clean groundwater. Three abandoned dams, used for drinking water supply until the mid 1980’s, impound stream habitat, block fish passage, and raise stream temperatures in their impoundments and tailwaters to levels unsustainable for brook trout.
An ambitious project to remove all three dams includes multiple partners: Freeport Conservation Trust, a local land trust that owns two of the dams on a conservation land parcel; Maine Water, a water utility that owns the third dam and a pumping station adjacent to it; the US Fish and Wildlife Service, who helped design the dam removals; and Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, who share TU’s interest in reconnecting salt marsh habitat with a coldwater stream. With funding from multiple sources, we anticipate removal of the three dams in the summer of 2023.
On the tour, we will visit one of the three dams, walk upstream to see some of the Frost Gully Brook habitat that supports brook trout and meet with partners helping us move this reconnection project forward.
Free shuttle available from the Holiday Inn by the Bay, or catch up with the tour by parking locally and joining us on site.
Image: Frost Gully Brook Brook Trout – Randy Clark