- Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
Media Contact for River and cranberry bog restoration to benefit native brook trout
Marion Larson, MassWildlife
The Childs River project aims to return two abandoned cranberry bogs to natural wetland habitat and improve river flow and habitat. Work will include building a new road crossing, replacing a failed fish ladder, and removing an earthen dam. The resulting improved stream channel will allow brook trout along with American eel and other fish to travel upstream to areas that are currently inaccessible. This construction will reduce ponding and sources of warm water that currently impair existing coldwater habitat for trout.
The wild brook trout that once lived in the Childs River were extirpated when their habitat was degraded by cranberry bogs, mill dam construction, and other factors. According to MassWildlife’s Southeast District Aquatic Biologist, Stave Hurley, “Between 2008 and 2010, wild brook trout from the Quashnet River were transplanted to the Childs River which resulted in a successful reproducing wild trout population in the lower Childs River.” This restoration effort will remove the remaining barriers and allow fish to once again swim upstream.
This restoration project is happening on lands owned and leased by the Falmouth Rod and Gun Club in Falmouth and Mashpee. “This project supports the club's mission of improvement, conservation, and preservation of the land and water systems of Cape Cod,” says Club President Ron Densmore. “Restoring the bogs and river will ensure the public can enjoy the natural historical beauty of these resources in perpetuity.”
The restoration project was started by the Club in 2016 and has the financial and technical support of many partners including the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration, Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge, Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and MassWildlife.