The removal of an old (circa 1870) ice pond dam is at the heart of a stream restoration project in the Town of Pittsford in Rutland County. Long known as the Kendrick Pond dam, the dam site was initially constructed as a saw mill and the impoundment later supported an ice harvesting business. The pond is now obsolete, the impoundment is filled in with sediment, and the dam structure is failing and unsafe.
Located on Sugar Hollow Brook (a tributary to the Furnace Brook which flows into Otter Creek), this project will open up approximately ten square miles of fish habitat and will enhance for fish migration upstream. This collaborative project is a partnership between the Town of Pittsford (which owns the land where the dam sits), the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. Funding was secured from the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture Program, which fosters a collaborative approach to brook trout management and restoration efforts.
The dam removal project, now underway, requires the removal of approximately 7700 cubic yards of accumulated sediment concurrent with the slow dewatering of the impoundment area and then the removal of the laid-up stone and concrete dam structure. The stream reach through the dam structure and up through the impoundment area appears to have significant bedrock, and a small gorge is emerging from the sediment as it is removed.
Sugar Hollow Brook supports brown, brook and rainbow trout downstream of Kendrick Dam and brook trout are the dominant species above the dam. Some remnants of the old dam and mill foundation will be left in place for a historic interpretation of what had previously existed. Once the project is completed, the town intends to convert the land into a park that will provide public access to fishing and a cool and tranquil spot for a picnic.