09/15 Lake Champlain Aquatic Habitat Connectivity Project Improving Fish Passage in the Lewis Creek Watershed

September 16, 2014

Press Release: September 15, 2014
Contact: Lewis Creek Association, Marty Illick, Director, 425 2002

Lewis Creek has been recognized by Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a high conservation priority stream and a potential salmonid fishery. Salmon have been stocked in the cool headwater reaches and preliminary results indicate that these fish are successfully smolting and leaving the system. However, late fall spawning fish could not access prime nursery locations.

A self-sustaining salmon fishery in Lewis Creek has not currently been possible because of the Scott Pond barrier design that was developed to limit sea lamprey access to upstream reaches. A fish by-pass had been developed at this structure in 1990 for steelhead runs. However, the lower fall flows did not accommodate Steelie or Land locked salmon passage.

A new deeper and smooth surface downstream plunge pool design was created to improve successful fish passage and access to 5 more miles of the middle reaches of Lewis Creek. The new design accommodates salmon fall spawning runs and a more self-sustaining river fishery. The new streambed plunge pool and attraction waters to provide passage for fall spawning runs of landlocked Atlantic salmon.

Funding for this project came from the Trout Unlimited, VT ANR and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Contracting and construction support came from Milone and McBroom, Inc. and Champlain Construction. Landowner support came from Terry Dinnan and Marty Illick. Lewis Creek Association has followed this project which began quite a number of years ago, shared stream conditions data and hosted meetings along the way.

Addison County Riverwatch Collaborative 2013 Water Quality Summary Report Released

March 12, 2014

SOS – We Need Your Help to Save our Salamanders and Wildlife Habitat

March 10, 2014


March 9, 2014
For Immediate Release
From: Lewis Creek Association, 442 Lewis Creek Rd., Charlotte, VT 05445, www.LewisCreek.org
If you prefer to make a donation by check please make it out to LCA with Monkton Rd Crossing on memo line.
Contact: Andrea Morgante, 482-5120, andreahinesburg@gmail.com

SOS – We Need Your Help to Save our Salamanders and Wildlife Habitat

Charlotte, VT - The Town of Monkton Vermont, Lewis Creek Association and other partners are excited to announce the launch of this one-time social media campaign on Indiegogo. This is a call and invitation to citizens of the world to help protect global biodiversity by supporting local initiatives doing on the ground improvements aimed at enhancing wildlife habitat conditions for all creatures great and small.

The original artwork below is one of several pieces donated by Woody Jackson and available as part of the Monkton Road Wildlife Crossing Indiegogo Campaign.

In Monkton, Vermont, we hope to raise $45,000 by the end of April for the installation of two Wildlife Crossing Structures. Other team partners include the Vermont Agency of Transportation, Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, University of Vermont’s Gund Institute of Ecological Economics, Middlebury Area Land Trust, Trans Wild Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife, The Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas, the U.S.D.A. Natural Resources and Conservation Service and Peregrine Productions.

If we reach our critical fundraising goal by this spring, two tunnels will be constructed under the Monkton-Vergennes Rd. to provide safe crossing for the annual migration of thousands of amphibians. Each spring the salamanders and frogs need to move from their winter habitat on rocky forested hillsides to their breeding habitat in an adjacent swamp. This requires them to move across an increasingly busy road. Later, the adults and their young will need to return back across the road to the hillsides. At this site over half of the animals attempting the migration each year have been run over by vehicles.

We are now reaching out to those in the worldwide community who value diversity and understand the vital importance of protecting wildlife habitat and corridors. The State of Vermont through its Department of Fish and Wildlife and others have recognized this extraordinary wetland site for its importance as significant breeding habitat for a large and diverse population of amphibians, including Blue-spotted, Jefferson, and Four-toed salamanders. Wing-walls on both sides of the road will act like funnels to direct the amphibians and other wildlife into four-foot wide tunnels under the road, allowing the animals to safely cross in all seasons. By preserving Vermont's amphibians, we can help save important populations in the Northeastern United States and help lay the groundwork for future projects throughout the world. With your help, construction will begin in 2014.

Please visit our Indiegogo site, watch our excellent informational video, and view the beautiful watercolors donated by renowned-artist Woody Jackson at: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/monkton-road-wildlife-crossing

We hope you will then be convinced to make a tax-deductible donation on line.

Vermont Champlain Valley wildlife tracking course seeks new participants

December 13, 2013


December 9, 2013
For Immediate Release
Contact: Tony Zambito, info@willowell.org
Vermont Champlain Valley wildlife tracking course seeks new participants.

Since 2008, The Willowell Foundation in Monkton, VT has sought to engage community members, educators and students in wildlife monitoring through the renowned Keeping Track Wildlife Monitoring Program with Sue Morse.

The Keeping Track Wildlife Monitoring Program will once again be offered beginning January of 2014. Participants in the program will learn behavioral ecology, track identification and track patterns, ecosystem connectivity, wildlife habitat and food resources, land use and connectivity and how it affects and relates to human residents of Vermont, as well as gain a deeper understanding of the story of the forest.

No prior experience is necessary and conservation planners, committee members, hunters, educators, naturalists and anyone with an interest in the outdoors and the future of our wild places are all encouraged to enroll. Trainings conducted by Sue Morse are held during five full-day field programs throughout the winter and spring. The course begins January 11th and registration is required.

The cost of enrollment for the full course is $350 for adults or $250 for students through generous underwriting from the National Life Group Charitable Foundation. Participants may also register for single field program dates at a cost of $75/adult and $40/student. We strongly encourage those who are able to sign up for the entire 5-class course to gain a more complete understanding of the behavior of a greater variety of species, tracking in a greater variety of habitats and ecosystems, as well as the opportunity to learn in a variety of seasons and conditions.

“Susan Morse is a great instructor,” says Elizabeth Lee, NYS Outdoor Guide and coordinator of the training for the Northeast Wilderness Trust. “She is humorous as a teacher while being absolutely focused as a field naturalist. She challenges conservationists, sportsmen and community planners to expand their thinking about animal presence and behavior.”

For more information about Willowell, to register for the course and to see the full schedule of course dates visit www.willowell.org or contact Tony Zambito at info@willowell.org or at 802-453-6195. For more information about the history and impact of Keeping Track visit www.keepingtrack.org.

Water Quality in the LaPlatte, Thorp, Kimball, Holmes Watersheds Report Available

November 11, 2013

For the towns of Shelburne, Charlotte, and Hinesburg. Activities of LaPlatte Watershed Partnership, South Chittenden Riverwatch, Lewis Creek Association. Includes Summary, Conclusions, Constraints, and Recommendations. November, 2013. Report available here.
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