Testimony: Coldwater Fishery

Here is another letter in opposition to the breaching application filed by the dam owner. This testimony was submitted by a family in the watershed of Manchaug Pond to Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles as part of the MEPA process – ENF # 14435

Dear Secretary Bowles,

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments regarding the future of Manchaug Pond in Douglas and Sutton. As long-standing environmentalists in the community, we consider it of utmost importance to preserve and protect this important body of water and its watershed to the best of our ability.

We own forested property that includes a substantial portion of a tributary to Manchaug Pond. We believe it is the “unnamed tributary” referred to in the enclosed Division of Fisheries & Wildlife letter directed to the Sutton Conservation Commission dated September 15, 2008, as we had requested that Fisheries survey the stream to determine if it was a coldwater fishery. It is and, as you well know, as our climate changes it is critical that we maintain habitat that preserves and protects our native trout species. Another “disconnect” with Manchaug Pond because of drawdown that does not address the long term sustainability of this stream is unacceptable.

We also commend the efforts of the members of the Manchaug Pond Association who have worked diligently through a 319 grant to contain stormwater runoff and drainage problems to improve the overall quality of the pond’s water and aquatic life. The level of Manchaug Pond also helps keep the surrounding water table high and that is also critical to our future when the Blackstone River Valley is once again at the center of a building boom.

We do not support the current proposal to breach the dam and we contend that it is in the best interest of landowners and local and state officials to find a resolution to this problem that will include maintaining a level of water in the pond that continues to support the ecosystem that depends on it.

The members of the MPA extend our thanks to the writers for their testimony, their continued protection of the unnamed tributary/coldwater fishery, and for their significant contribution to conservation efforts in the Commonwealth.