CASTLETON — The state says the health and function of North Breton Brook in Castleton has been remarkably improved through the removal of the Pelletier Dam off East Hubbardton Road.
The dam, along with 15,000 cubic yards of sediment, was removed from the stream bed, reconnecting the river to its natural path and flow.
The Pelletier Dam was derelict, which means it had not been used for its original purpose as a marble mill in decades.
The State of Vermont Fish and Wildlife acquired the dam after the mill closed and recognized the benefits of removing the dam.
The removal of the dam has opened approximately 37 miles of wild trout habitat.
For the first time in over 200 years, trout will be able to move freely up and downstream, reconnecting populations and expanding habitat.
The removal of the dam also restores about 3000 feet of riparian floodplain and habitat that were previously buried under the pond.
This riparian area will act as a sponge, soaking up rain during flood events and improving flood resiliency.
Now that the dam and sediment have been removed, the stream bank and surrounding floodplain area will be planted with native trees and shrubs.