Humphreys Brook Restoration and Stewardship project – dam removal

October 4, 2013

The Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation is pleased is to have been able to contribute to the Humphreys Brook project led by Sentinelles Petitcodiac Riverkeeper.

ASCF contributed $5000 in 2011 for pre-removal monitoring and $5700 in 2013 for the restoration phase.

Humphreys Brook is located in eastern Moncton. It’s part of Hall’s Creek sub-watershed, which is part of the larger Petitcodiac River catchment basin.

An important freshwater stream, it helps sustain the region’s biodiversity by providing habitat for various species of fish, amphibians, aquatic plants, invertebrates, and microorganisms. It is also an essential supply of water and food for many types of animals.

The restoration project — led by Sentinelles Petitcodiac Riverkeeper and various contributors and partners — evolved from the City of Moncton’s decision to remove an abandoned dam, which allowed for the urban waterway to reclaim its natural flow.

The goal of the project was to achieve six objectives:

1. To restore the riparian area and stabilize the stream banks

2. To enhance the habitat

3. To build support for community stewardship of Humphreys Brook

4. To produce a bilingual brochure about Humphreys Brook’s project and habitat conservation and restoration

5. To create an interpretive panel to be installed on the restoration site

6. To implement ecological and water quality monitoring protocol for small dam decommissioning projects

The restoration of Humphreys Brook will allow fish passage to more than 9 kilometres of good quality fish habitat and will enhance sustainability of this ecosystem in the Moncton area.

The project’s final report states, “Although this restoration project was completed in a very condensed schedule, many positive outcomes have emerged from it. During the primary planning for this project, we had to evaluate the plans for the decommissioning of the dam and the reconstruction of the stream. We organized many meetings with biologists and specialized engineers. Following these interventions, some important changes were made to the plans in order to create a better, more natural habitat of higher quality and more ecologically sound. Improvements were also made to the precautionary methods to be used during the removal of the dam, in order to mitigate environmental risks.”

“The success of this project is already visible today. It will be interesting to see the changes over the years when the trees will have grown, the erosion problems will have become unnoticeable and the free flowing river running once again. A healthy habitat for all fish, animals and people to enjoy in the urban center of Moncton.”