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Archive for December, 2007

Take your son or daughter Trout Fishing in the Mill Brook – DRAFT

Take your son or daughter Trout Fishing at the Upper Mill
Brook family fishing festival

 

 

Where:  From any one
of the nine Mill Brook bridges including Heywood street, the forthcoming
Emerson/Thoreau Amble bridge, any of the 3 bridges on Cambridge Turnpike, the
Hawthorne Lane Bridge, Cargill’s Creek bridge, a new bridge that has been
proposed by
Harry Beyer across the former Saw Mill Brook, a
bridge 100 yards in front of the Merriam’s Corner building on the National Park
Service Trail or from the face of the Fairyland or Crosby Pond dams. . The nine
bridges and two dams provide reasonable fishing platforms for supervised
children and or adults.

 

To make this possible, the Mill Brook Task Force should
support the restocking of trout in the Upper Mill Brook including use of
alternative stocking and fishing points i.e. bridges, dams, and ponds.

 

 

Upper Mill Brook water quality varies with its source.  There are three different branches each with
its own water source i.e. Walden Pond or Sandy Pond or a mix
of both
.  Each branch of the Mill
Brook has a different environmental character and likely water quality and
suitability as trout habitat.

 

 

“Walden Pond branches of the Upper Mill Brook” emerge from
Brister’s Spring plus 50 or so other points of underground seepage (springs)
identified by Walter Brain. That water flows into Fairyland Pond, out across a
dam and thence toward Cambridge Turnpike where it merges with a stream flowing
from the Sandy Pond branch of the Upper Mill Brook.

 

“Cargill Ditch branch of the Upper Mill Brook” also
originates from Walden Pond seepage and emerges near the Alcott School, feeds
Cargill’s Ditch aka Cargill’s Creek and flows under Cargill Creek Bridge and
thence the Concord Mill Brook.

 

 

“Sandy Pond branches of the Upper Mill Brook” emerge from
several springs one of which flows into Crosby’s Pond and another that serves
as a primary source of the Bedford Levels stream network.  Water from Crosby’s Pond exits at a dam,
crosses Cambridge Turnpike flowing across the Kenney Conservation Land before
merging with a stream from the Bedford Levels and then crossing Hawthorne Lane
before then paralleling Hawthorne Lane and/or flows parallel to Cambridge
Turnpike until it crosses in two locations and mixes with Walden Pond Mill
Brook to create the main channel of the Upper Mill Brook
.

 

“Upper Mill Brook” begins where the Walden Pond and Sandy
Pond branches of the Mill Brook merge by the Mill Brook Farm stand and extend
to Heywood Street.   From there the
Upper Mill becomes the lower Mill Brook all the way to the Concord River.

 

 

 

Why now?

 

Previous attempts at stocking the Mill Brook with 10,000
trout from1956-1990 appeared to have been unsuccessful because the fish did not
appear to be surviving.   That
program    involved putting fish in at
Heywood Street and may have presumed the fish would migrate downstream.  However trout tend to migrate upstream
toward cooler water, usually not downstream to warmer water.  Allan Schmidt’s stepson Peter Santis has
caught trout at the Cambridge Turnpike Bridge near the Mill Brook farm stand in
the mid 1970’s.  That fish had
presumably been input at the Heywood Street Bridge and swum upstream to the
Mill Brook Crossing Bridge.

 

 

Trout also could be input at other bridges e.g. Cambridge
Turnpike, Hawthorne Lane, or Cargill’s Creek, or trout could be stocked
directly into Fairyland and Crosby’s Pond and allowed to migrate across the
dam, downstream.

 

The Upper Mill Brook flows through a residential area (both
sides of Cambridge Turnpike) and potentially receives homeowner runoff.

 

The Sandy Pond branches of the Mill Brook flow through a
less dense residential area (Hawthorne Lane) It initially receives water from
Crosby’s Pond and Bedford Levels both of which appear to derive their water
from Sandy Pond.  They also receive
runoff from agricultural fields.The Walden Pond and Cargill’s Creek branches of the Mill
Brook flow through the town forest and should be relatively clean although with
possible agricultural runoff.

Normally trout try to swim upstream but both Fairyland Pond
and Crosby Pond have dams that may be preventing fish access until such time as
fish ladders are available or trout are stocked there directly.

 

 

Stocking trout in the Mill Brook should be seen as a
put-and-take program, the same as is done in Walden Pond and White’s Pond where
trout are added in the spring and fall of each year and removed by anglers
thereafter.  Such an activity in the
Upper Mill Brook can serve the objectives of an annual “Take your son or
daughter Trout Fishing in the Upper Mill Brook festival”.

 

Survival rates of trout in different branches of the Upper
Mill Brook also may serve as a water quality barometer where the lower survival
rates could reflect a declining water quality and need for closer pollution
source monitoring in those areas.  Trout
in the Mill Brook can serve as canaries in a coal mine, so to speak.

 

Trout have not survived in Concord’s Lower Mill Brook
due to water temperature (over 70F) and poor water quality.

See the separate map of Mill Brook branches, below. Guesstimated water quality is shown as good (green),fair (blue),  poor (red).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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