2019 Watershed WaveMaker: Trout Unlimited & Town of Chatham

The restored Green Brook in Town of Chatham

Join us in celebrating Trout Unlimited & Town of Chatham at the Toast to the Tribs on June 1! Tickets and more info here.

Trout Unlimited and the Town of Chatham (Partnership WaveMaker) worked collaboratively to identify road-stream crossings that are barriers to fish and wildlife and potential flooding hazards, resulting in a Road-Stream Crossing Management Plan for the Town of Chatham in 2018. The Town of Chatham, in northern Columbia County, includes the Kinderhook Creek, Green Brook, Stony Kill, Valatie Kill, and Kline Kill. 

The project team included Tracy Brown (National Trout Unlimited), Maria Lull (Town of Chatham Supervisor), Joe Rickert (Town of Chatham Highway Superintendent), and Vince Dubois (Trout Unlimited, Chapter Columbia Green RVW 569). This partnership began when a town-owned railroad culvert on the Green Brook collapsed in 2016, blocking fish passage and flooding an upstream landowner’s property. Trout Unlimited received funding through the NYS DEC Water Quality Improvement Program to remove the collapsed culvert and restore Green Brook, connecting almost 3 miles of high-quality stream habitat in summer 2018. 

Restoring Green Brook in Town of Chatham

Working together on the management plan, Trout Unlimited and the Town of Chatham looked for overlapping priorities to identify sites that were ecologically important, yet also practical. They brought together municipal government, recreational users of the streams, and private citizens. They gave full attention to each potential barrier that came up as a priority for ecology, flooding, or maintenance, fostering an environment for honest discussion. Implementing this plan will help continue to improve stream habitat and reduce flooding in Chatham. 

Trout Unlimited and the Town of Chatham partnered to restore the Green Brook when a town-owned culvert collapsed here in 2016. Restoration was completed in 2018, connecting 3 miles of high-quality habitat.