Dam Removals on the Wells River

The Connecticut River Watershed Council and partners removed two (2) old mill dams on the Wells River in Groton, VT opening 34 miles of stream for aquatic organism passage. The upper Wells River is a great Brook trout stream and now those fish and other critters can swim freely throughout the upper watershed. Dam removals such as these allow fish to seek cooler waters during the heat of the summer, and provide miles of suitable spawning habitat. In addition our rivers become more flood resilient when these old, man-made structures are removed.

Project Contact: Ron Rhodes, CRWC River Steward
Project Contact Email: rrhodes@ctriver.org
Year Project Started: 2013
Year Completed: 2015
Project Lifespan: 2013-2015
Regional Planning Commision: Northeastern Vermont Development Association
Other Keywords: Dam Removal
Project Accomplishments:

Removal of the old Franconia Mill dam in 2014 and the Groton #9 dam in 2015 - opening 34 miles of cold water habitat in the upper Wells River.

Project Partners:

State of Vermont (Fish & Wildlife, and DEC/ANR)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Town of Groton

Critical to Success:

CRWC received funding from the State of Vermont Watershed grant, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Upper Connecticut River Mitigation and Enhancement Fund.


All dam removals require state and federal permits, and the State Office of Historic Preservation also has to sign off. Those all take time and money.

Project Picture: