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Hayle Clark

Environmental Seminars

March 25, 2015











Stream Restoration in Connecticut 

Brian Murphy


            Brian Murphy has been a part of the DEEP since 1987. He works in the Inland Fisheries Division. He went to the University of Massachusetts where he got is Bachelor’s Degree in fish biology. Brian Murphy is part of the American Fisheries Society and we has managed many stream habitats. He does a lot of work with the restoration of the habitats and he is giving the community a sustainable stream alterations from years past of experience.

            Humans have been changing the waterways in Connecticut for years. Dams are one of thee biggest things that humans have to deal with. All of the changes we have made to the waterways were a good things at one time, but a lot the changes are either not working anymore, or people have let them unmaintained. Areas where there are dams are a big deal because fish flow downstream, but have no way to get back upstream due to blockage from dams. The restoration of these areas involve getting rid of the dams. Without dams fish will be able to get back upstream to the areas where they mate and lay their eggs.

            Another problem that effects the fish is the stream bank erosion which creates sedimentation in the fish habitats. This sedimentation can cause loss of vegetation, which can be used to cool the water temperatures. Without the vegetation the water temperature will warm up because of the sun which is tough on the fish that need to survive on cold water like the trout. This is also reduce population of insects which can be food for fish. The Mount Hope River in Ashford, Connecticut is one of the restoration projects that Brian Murphy is working on with his team.

            The Mount Hope River project is correcting the unstable channel and lack of vegetation cover and pools. The project will store the riparian areas with the vegetation native to the area and it will stabilize the stream ban. The farm located next to this river as cattle roaming free which ruin the conditions of the stream. These cattle go to drink from the water in the stream, but after time they break down the stream banks. To try and help the river they added boulders and large branches in certain places which helps the habitats upstream. Cross vane sections are added as well which will create pools for fish and other wildlife. These cross vane sections will help to increase the population of wildlife in the area.

            The work that Brian Murphy does for the rivers, ponds, and lakes is good for the environment. All of the work that goes into the streams to restore all of them is a lot of work that many people probably didn’t know happened. I think that all of this work should be show to students and people of the community more often so they can see what is going on the streams that we have in Connecticut. This will show people what the wildlife that live in the areas have to go through every day. The projects that Brian Murphy and his team work on are not only to restore the habitat for fish, but it is also helping to get the stream back to its natural state.  




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