The rebirth of our rivers as home to a vast array of fish, birds, mammals, insects, and aquatic invertebrates is something we celebrate. The quality of our stream and river habitat is impacted by many factors, from water temperature and oxygenation, to sedimentation and polluted runoff, to stream flow and connectivity. How can we use the best science to protect and restore our local streams and rivers?
In the final two programs in our series “Case Studies in Stream Protection and Restoration”, we’ll look at the impact of Millie Turner Dam removal in Pepperell (dam removed in 2015), and we’ll look at the study of “cold water refugia”, an effort to locate cold water refuge for fish as our streams are impacted by climate change. We hope you can join us for these free Zoom presentations.
Encouraging Trends in Freshwater Mussel Restoration: Five Years After Millie Turner Dam Removal
Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 7:00 p.m., on Zoom Dam removals provide extraordinary benefits to riverine systems including the restoration of natural flow and connectivity for fish and wildlife migration. However, immediate habitat changes following dam removals have been associated with declines in freshwater mussels. In 2015, the Millie Turner Dam was removed from the Nissitissit River in Pepperell. MassWildlife actively relocated freshwater mussels of conservation concern from the area of impact and has monitored the mussels and the habitat change since. Now, five years after dam removal, we are starting to see trends that may support the long-term restoration of rare mussel habitat in the Nissitissit River. Our presenters will be Dr. Peter Hazelton and Dr. Jason Camignani. Dr. Hazelton is an Assistant Professor of Aquatic Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia. He spent seven years with the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP) at MassWildlife as the program’s Aquatic Ecologist and then the Chief of Conservation Science. Dr. Carmignani has served as the Aquatic Ecologist for NHESP since 2019. He has performed research and monitoring in Massachusetts freshwater ecosystems since 2010.
Stream Temperature Monitoring for Cold Water Refugia Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 7:00 p.m., on Zoom This program on stream temperature monitoring for coldwater refugia will be presented by Dr. Rebecca Quiñones, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Refugia for coldwater-dependent species such as Brook Trout are being mapped in the Nashua River watershed to determine which streams may be most resistant to increases in mean annual temperatures. This effort is part of a bigger project (ecosheds.org) that models the probability of Brook Trout occupancy in all MA sub-watersheds as temperatures rise 2, 4, and 6 degrees Celsius. The NRWA is currently partnering with MA Fisheries and Wildlife and Squan-a-Tissit Chapter of Trout Unlimited to install temperature data loggers in a number of our watershed streams. Rebecca M. Quiñones, Ph.D., is the Rivers and Streams Project Leader and Climate Change Specialist at MassWildlife. She has been with the Division for five years where she has led efforts to assess the biological condition of large rivers, evaluate aquatic biodiversity, and identify coldwater climate change refugia.
These presentations are made possible through a grant from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET). MET is funded through the sales of its specialty license plates, such as their signature Right Whale or Leaping Brook Trout plates, which you can order thru your local Registry of Motor Vehicles at www.massrmv.com or www.whaleplate.org. For more about MET, visit www.mass.gov/eea/met.