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News Manhan River Restoration Project Attracts Federal Support (Southampton)

Removal of this dam will reconnect 27 miles of mainstem and tributary streams in the upper part of the Manhan.
  • Division of Ecological Restoration
The Lyman Pond Dam and its former impoundment as viewed from Route 10 upstream.

Last summer, the US Fish and Wildlife Service awarded $24,000 to help support preliminary design for the Manahan River Restoration Project in Southampton. The centerpiece of this project is the proposed removal of the Lyman Mill Pond Dam. Removal of this dam will reconnect 27 miles of mainstem and tributary streams in the upper part of the Manhan. The project was awarded Priority Project status by DER in 2016. Besides the US Fish and Wildlife Service, DER’s partners include the private dam owner, The Nature Conservancy, and American Rivers.

The Manhan is a major tributary to the Connecticut River just south of Northampton. It originates in Southampton and joins the Connecticut River in Easthampton. Previous work by the US Fish and Wildlife Service resulted in the installation of a state-of-the-art fish ladder on the dam in Easthampton which re-opened the Manhan for river herring, Atlantic salmon, American eel, and other fish species. The Manahan River and many of its tributaries are listed as Cold Water Resources by MassWildllife.

The Lyman Mill Pond Dam is located just downstream from Route 10 in Southampton. This aging dam is part of a larger Historical District and is actually built on the foundation of the adjacent former mill building. As the dam has deteriorated, the owner has taken emergency action by draining the impoundment to reduce pressure on the dam and the mill building. Dam removal design is underway with Gomez and Sullivan Engineers, DPC.

Division of Ecological Restoration 

DER restores and protects rivers, wetlands, and watersheds in Massachusetts for the benefit of people and the environment.


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