The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Posts tagged branch brook

  • Letting It Flow

    | November 20, 2015

    Restoring Streams and the Pulse of Tides

    Three small projects with outsize impact have been focusing the reserve's attention in this latter half of 2015. Completing these minor feats of engineering will improve the ecology of local watersheds for generations to come. Our science and stewardship team planned for months and years to set up these moments of action on Goff Mill Brook, Branch Brook, and the York River.

  • Clearing a Way for Aquatic Species

    | August 18, 2015

    Rattling Bridge Stream BarrierThis summer, in our fifth year working with our partners to improve aquatic habitats in Branch Brook, we took on a Herculean task: Remove a four-foot-long wall of large granite blocks, trapped sticks, and sediment from the brook, restoring access to a seven-mile network of stream habitat for native brook trout and a host of other aquatic organisms.

    Erosion had caused stones from old bridge abutments to fall into the brook, creating a barrier and raising the upstream water level by several feet. But getting heavy equipment to the site was impractical. How would we maneuver the massive chunks of granite?

  • Branch Brook Fishing Update

    Wells Reserve Contributor | August 4, 2015

    As the warmest part of the summer is upon us here in southern Maine, the movement of fish in Branch Brook has slowed down and researchers here at The Reserve have caught a break from their fishing efforts. We recently removed our fyke net from the river at the Route 9 intersection but are continuing to monitor the trap at the top of the fish ladder at the Kennebunk-Kennebunkport-Wells Water District and are finally having some time to look at our data of what was caught, tagged, and recaptured this year and compared to last. So far, some interesting results!

  • Hard Work Pays Off, for Fish and Researchers Alike!

    Wells Reserve Contributor | May 8, 2015

    kOn Thursday, May 7, a little bit of history was made at the fish ladder located at the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Wells Water District. For the first time since restoring the fish ladder in December 2013 we successfully caught a fish that we had previously captured and tagged downstream at our Route 9 Branch Brook fishing net. Now, sea lamprey #181 is famous here in the research department!

  • Tracking the Life History of a Trout

    | January 15, 2015
    In 2014, Wells Reserve researchers trapped and counted numerous brook trout in Branch Brook as part of an ongoing project to restore these native fish and the habitat they depend on (see previous blog post).  We caught these fish as they moved from the estuary into the freshwater reaches of Branch Brook and ascended the restore…
  • Three Ways to Look at Streamside Buffers

    | July 29, 2014

    Bruce Read, chairman of the Laudholm Trust board of directors, addresses the group assembled for A Watershed Moment in June 2014Three angles of investigation into three waterways flowing through three municipalities have reached one encouraging conclusion: The Merriland River, Branch Brook, and the Little River are ecologically healthy and the people largely responsible, those living in the combined watershed, know and appreciate it.

    The design for our Sustaining Coastal Landscapes and Community Benefits project, the first study of its kind, drew from the sciences of ecology, economy, and communications. Reserve staff and their colleagues from Clark University looked at streamside buffers in Sanford, Kennebunk, and Wells to find out how they affect life in the water and how members of the community value them.

  • A Ladder for Fish

    | May 30, 2014

    People congregate by the fish ladder after the dedication ceremony.Earlier this month, about 30 people assembled behind an isolated and nondescript brick building along U.S. Route 1 at the boundary of Wells and Kennebunk during one of the wettest mornings of our rather soggy spring.

    Everyone was good natured about the rain. After all, we were standing alongside an important water supply that had recently been improved for fish. We huddled under popup tents in foul-weather gear to celebrate the reconstruction of the Branch Brook fish ladder, a piscine highway past the water district's dam.

  • This is the PITs

    | May 6, 2014

    asdfIn his recent post, Spreading the Fish Ladder News, Jake mentioned our imminent use of passive integrated transponders, or PIT tags, to track fish. But just what is a PIT tag and exactly how does it work?

    A passive integrated transponder is a miniature electronic circuit typically encased in glass and implanted under an animal's skin or in a body cavity (the fish tags we'll use are thin and just 12mm long). Each tag is programmed with a unique number to identify an individual animal. That number is read automatically when the animal travels close to a receiving station.

  • Spreading the Fish Ladder News

    | February 19, 2014

    KKWWD Dam and Fish LadderThis month customers of the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Wells Water District (KKWWD) got some news about the upgrades and repairs to the fish ladder on Branch Brook in the Winter 2014 Newsletter. Chief Plant Operator Greg Pargellis provided a nice write-up on a really positive collaboration with the Wells Reserve to bring the fish ladder back on line.

    This isn't the first time that the fish ladder has been in a KKWWD report. In the 1954 Trustees Report (see pg. 14), the Water District mentions plans to increase the height of the dam by 2 feet and to build a fish ladder which was ordered by the Maine Department of Fish and Game.

  • Jake's Ladder

    | October 30, 2013

    The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition, 11/3/13:

    Branch Brook ladder

     

    Jake Aman, a researcher at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm known fondly as our “river guy,” is building a ladder this month. At a cost of $40,000, provided by funders including the Nature Conservancy, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the Maine Coastal Program, the local water district and the Reserve, it’s not some ordinary stepladder. It’s fancy.

    None of us will be climbing Jake’s ladder anytime soon, though. It’s a ladder for fish. With it, they’ll be able to climb up and over a small but insurmountable dam on the Branch Brook, a tributary of the Little River here on the Kennebunk/Wells border. With this ladder, the Wells Reserve will reestablish an essential connection between the ocean downstream and vital nursery pools upstream. A small piece, missing for twenty years from a mosaic that stretches from New Hampshire to Newfoundland, will be replaced.