The Batten Kill Watershed Alliance has undertaken trout habitat restoration based on the the expertise of the fisheries biologists and hydrogeologists.
We have concentrated our efforts on the installation of cover and shelter structures made of wood and stone in the river. Trout need cover and shelter as protection from predation, floods, ice, and hot weather. We have identified sections of the river lacking these elements and have placed wood and stone in the river and into its banks to provide such protection. These structures improve habitat for aquatic insects, turtles, crayfish, and many other wildlife species. They are also designed to improve river dynamics so that there is less erosion and more flood resilience, which can benefit people and their buildings and infrastructure. "Channel riverwood" is a term used for this kind of remediation.
Scientific monitoring of these trout habitat restoration projects have shown significant increases in the trout population in project areas, when compared to before the project work and compared to parts of the river that were not restored. This means that what the trout need most is more cover and shelter from more big trees down in the river channel.
In the long run we are concentrating on planting trees on the river banks termed "bank riverwood". These trees will hold the soil, filter runoff and provide habitat for terrestrial wildlife. Many large bank trees will eventually fall into the river to provide cover and shelter for trout.
Project list: Vermont
*Stabilize mass bank failure with structures and tree planting on BK below Union Street
*Tree planting on Dufresne East Branch at dam removal site
*Tree planting along Batten Kill downstream of Richville Road
*Installation of structures to provide cover & shelter & to improve river dynamics in the Batten Kill
*Upstream & downstream of the 313 bridge
*Upstream of the first River Road bridge
*Upstream and downstream of “The Scales” pull off on 313,
*Upstream & downstream of the confluence of the BK and Benedict Brook, *Upstream of the confluence with the Green River for a mile
*Downstream of the former Wilcox Lumber Company site along River Road
*Downstream of the West Arlington Cemetery.
*Installation of trout habitat restoration structures of stone in Roaring Branch
*Restore pool habitat after Tropical Storm Irene along Kelly Stand Road.
*Trash removal from houses by Tropical Storm Irene in Roaring Branch with Vermont Youth Conservation Corps crew.
*Tree planting along Roaring Branch
*Bank stabilization along Mill Brook.
*Tree planting along White Creek & along Mill Brook
Possible future VT BK projects: tree planting along the BK & its tributaries, in-stream habitat restoration in BK sections as possible, for instance downstream towards the state line.
Project list: New York
Shushan, Salem, & Jackson: installation of structures of wood & stone in the Batten Kill to improve river dynamics & provide cover & shelter for trout habitat, plus tree planting at these sites --
* Battenkill Stateline Park on 313 & downstream – two projects in 2010 & 2016
* Downstream of 313 bridge on right hand side
* Upstream & downstream of confluence with Murray Hollow Brook
* Downstream of Eagleville Covered Bridge
* Upstream of Highway 64 bridge upstream of the big bend there
* Upstream of confluence of Batten Kill and Black Creek along the big bend
* The section below the Eagleville Covered Bridge behind the Cambridge *Lantern property along 313 in Jackson 2017
Possible Future NY BK trout habitat restoration project reaches: along Skellie Road & Tracy Drive off Route 29 in Greenwich, along the Stateline Diner property in Salem, between the railroad bridges downstream of Shushan, & in Eldridge Swamp; also tree planting along tributaries.