Last summer the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department removed the dam at Dufresne Pond on the East Branch of the Batten Kill in Manchester, VT.
The structure was owned by the state. It was in poor condition, creating a safety hazard, and repairing it would have cost a great deal of money. The
removal eliminated a barrier to fish passage and passage by other aquatic organisms. But it also took away a pond that was highly valued by neighbors.
VFWD is committed to making the new East Branch channel at Dufresne a high quality recreation opportunity in the restored condition. Next year
trout habitat restoration will take place through installation of cover and shelter structures -- they want to wait until the new channel has stabilized.
This year VFWD planned to get started planting along the new banks, and the Alliance and Southwest Vermont Trout Unlimited volunteered to help.
The photos show a 5/21 site meeting with Ken Cox, fisheries biologist from VFWD, and SWVTTU members. The first round of planting took place along the lower
level of the far bank this past Saturday 5/24. I forgot my camera, but I will link to TU pictures as soon as they are posted. The plan is to plant other species on the
higher bank in the fall. We won't plant on the near bank until all construction is completed after the in-stream habitat restoration in 2015.
About 10 SWVT TU members planted about 120 dogwoods and willows. Took about an hour and a half.
If you want to visit the site, turn off Rte 7A in Manchester onto Rte 11/30 heading east. Go along until you cross the railroad tracks and almost get to the access to Rte 7. Look for the sign saying Dufresne Pond Road on the left and turn in there. Follow it until you see an old building saying Peterson and turn left into the parking and access area. Gaze across the stream and see if you can see any little whips of trees.
There is another public access area further upstream if you turn off that road onto Town Shed Road and go to the end of it.
The first picture shows Ken Cox on the left speaking with the SWVT TU members. The second shows a section of the far bank to be planted beyond the stream channel. The third shows where the dam used to be.