35th Wffc Bih 2015

World Fly Fishing Championship 2019

Restoring Rattlesnake Brook

Restoring Rattlesnake Brook


who would build a stone wall in the
middle of the woods start peeling it back and you discover that there was a
whole economy if you look closely at the architecture you’ll see there’s a couple
of dozen houses from the you know the 19th century that were a set and they
were workers houses so there was meaning to this little village and it related to
this but 90 years later it’s has virtually been erased it was an
industrial site but now to look at it this is a rather wild site fortunately a
lot of people now don’t see Rattlesnake brook well when we had a little tour
along some of the damaged sections of it they all had stories about fly-fishing
when they were younger so they have fond memories of the trout in there and it
flows almost entirely through protected land land trust land state land we have
to address this failing dam it’s not terribly dangerous but it’s a failing
dam and you know the 2010 floods showed that this waterway impacts local traffic
local residents because it washed out the road that in a sense is one of the
more important I think perspectives that the community has on rattlesnake brook
we’ve worked with a particular engineering company and you know their
opinion was well the easiest solution would be to just repair the dam and you
know we’re looking at it saying there’s one approach but let’s go back farther
in terms of look at the history of the place look at the ecology of the place
we don’t really need this water supply we don’t need this impoundment for
anything in particular so does it make sense to just repair it for the sake of
repairing it and be married to a lifetime of maintenance so we did a
feasibility study we got more information we incorporated the history
because you have to have some knowledge of the site in order to examine what the
feasibility is to bring it back to a natural environment. Nature has a way of
bouncing back from all of these abuses man-made and natural hurricanes, floods
things of that type. It’s amazingly resilient. It’s just shocking when you
think that this forest is nothing like the forest that was here when the first
Europeans landed and probably neither of the waterways it bounces back a
lot quicker environment when man hasn’t completely
messed things up they manipulated the brook they dammed it this was a bleachery so during the late part of the 19th century early 20th century this is an
industrial site Engineers say well it’s gonna cost you
more to breach it than it is gonna be to repair it and that makes no sense but
you have to go through it it’s a step-by-step process to get to to the
point where you can actually bring all the numbers to bear bring the science to
bear do the engineering the design it’s in the ballpark of as much to repair it
but at the end of the day we’ve repaired the land instead of repairing the dam

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