Orvis and Trout Unlimited this week announced the first two streams that will be improved to allow better passage for wild and native trout as part of the new Orvis/Trout Unlimited “1,000 Miles Campaign.”
Murphy Brook in Vermont and Tabor Brook in New Hampshire—both tributaries of the Connecticut River system—will be the first beneficiaries of funding raised by Orvis and its customers, and TU will oversee construction and reconnection projects on both streams. Migration-halting culverts will be replaced, and dozens of new miles of habitat will be available to brook trout and brown trout that need intact coldwater habitat to spawn and to escape the worst of summer’s heat.
Thanks in part to an Orvis grant and matching funds from the company’s customers, the two entities hope to open up 1,000 miles of new coldwater habitat to trout and salmon all over America. Many streams with spawning and rearing potential—and fishing potential—are now blocked by faulty culverts and other man-made barriers. The campaign’s goals include not only increasing overall trout habitat from coast to coast, but improving fishing opportunity resulting from stream improvements.
“Opening up 1,000 miles of new habitat for trout and salmon over the next 10 years is an ambitious goal, but we think we can do it,” said Elizabeth Maclin, TU’s vice president for eastern conservation. “We’re lucky to have dedicated partners like the people at Orvis—they’ve always been very supportive of the work we do, and their commitment to this project means the world to us.”
By opening up habitat in Murphy Brook and Tabor Brook to migrating fish, anglers will likely see improved fish numbers in downstream stretches of water, and enjoy more fishable water in the coming years. Two culverts will be replaced on Tabor Brook this fall, and work to remove a culvert that blocks upstream migration on Murphy Brook will begin later in the year.
The 1,000 Miles Campaign will help fund culvert removal projects on several other trout streams located all over America. These streams are:
Kinne Brook, a tributary to the Westfield River in Massachusetts
Coyner Springs, a tributary to the South River near Waynesboro, Va.
Crazy Creek, a tributary to the Crooked River in the Upper Deschutes River drainage in Oregon
Aldrich Brook, a tributary to Azizschos Lake and the Magalloway River in Maine
Yellow Creek, a tributary to the Bear River in southwest Wyoming
Big Slough Creek, a Driftless Areas stream in Jackson County, Wisconsin.
“Culverts are significant impediments to fish passage and survival – just as significant as a major dam – but the solution is dramatically simpler, costs less, and the overall benefits to many watersheds is profound,” said Dave Perkins, Vice Chairman of Orvis. “By removing these impediments, we not only add vital habitat for fish, but we also open many miles of fishable waters for anglers. We’re proud to partner with TU in this effort to engage the fly-fishing community in support of this often overlooked opportunity to dramatically improve fish habitat across the country.”