Vermont Removing Dam on Battenkill River

A Vermont water scientist says the removal of Dufrense Dam from the east branch of the Battenkill River will likely improve water conditions and spawning grounds, giving the river's wild brown and brook trout populations a boost.

An article from the Rutland Herald, says the dam was built in 1908 to power a nearby sawmill, but has been leaking for many years, creating safety concerns.

Roy Schiff, a water resource scientist and engineer working for the state, says the decision to remove the dam is part of a larger movement to remove obsolete dams that cost more to repair than to dismantle.

"The nice thing about dam removals is you're letting Mother Nature kind of take it back over so it's not like we're building things that have to function a certain way. We're actually just unbuilding things that we put in the rivers that we're not using or are unsafe," Schiff said.

Locals may miss the stocked trout harbored in the pond behind the dam, but having access to cooler, spring-fed water will decrease the mortality rate of wild fish, and give them access to potentially better spawning habitat upstream.