03/14/13 – At our Trout Unlimited meeting Monday we had two people from AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) as guest speakers. They talked about the land AMC now owns in Maine, plans for that land, plans for the future and how fishing fits into all that. Access is pretty good and you should check out the AMC website www.outdoors.org for more information on them. They have some great places to stay and camp and fish.
Another interesting thing they mentioned was culvert removal on AMC lands. So far in the Katahdin Iron Works area they have removed THREE big, poorly designed culverts and replaced them with culverts that allowed fish passage or with bridges. They have 7 more planned. Now 3 out of 10 may not sound like much but those three culverts opened up 10-miles of Brook Trout Spawning habitat. NICE JOB AMC!
And after looking at their website and land in Maine I think I’ll be joining. If for no better reason than I can stay in the Little Lyford Bunkhouse for $66.00 a night and be only 3 1/2 miles from Gulf Hagas. Or said another way – yes – you can access Gulf Hagas without paying a North Maine Woods road fee.
Anyway – culverts. They don’t get enough attention. Programs to correct them don’t get enough attention. So I thought I’d shine some light on a Culvert Project. A joint venture, a national effort by Trout Unlimited and the Orvis Company. It’s called
Orvis/TU 1,000-MILES CAMPAIGN – RECONNECTING RIVERS
Orvis has pledged to match every dollar donated to this program – up to $90,000 – for a total culvert removal contribution of $180,000 – that’s the Orvis Commitment to the 1,000-MILE CAMPAIGN.
The work has already started – nationwide – culvert improvement or removal on Kinne Brook in Massachusetts, the Upper Connecticut River in New Hampshire, the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, Big Slough Creek in Wisconsin, the Deschutes River in Oregon, and Bear River in Wyoming are but a few.
Progress in being made and many new culverts are taking fish passage into consideration. However, there are few funds available for existing culvert problems so programs like this one and local grass roots efforts are our only hopes.
So again hats off to the AMC people and their efforts, kudos to the TU/ORVIS 1,000-MILES CAMPAIGN and don’t forget the little guys. Local TU chapters who independent of the large national campaigns managed to “make it happen” the grass roots men and women who make up the local chapters. Projects like this one on Jam Black Brook or this one at the Wells Research Reserve – Maine projects – Dirigo – projects that lead the way.