WHATELY, Mass. (WWLP) - New efforts are underway in Franklin County to help improve conditions for brook trout in our area.
The project is designed to help the trout population in the area, and also help provide some valuable scientific information.
The Nature Conservancy of Massachusetts is behind the work, which is taking place on Conway Road in Whately. Underneath that street flows Mitchell Brook, which is a tributary to West Brook; a home to many native brook trout.
The project involves replacing an old pipe that allows the water to flow underneath the street. Instead of a metal bottom, the new pipe will have natural a cobble one.
Once everything is complete, the brook, and the wildlife in it, will be able to move more freely, as the pipe will mimic a much more natural water flow pattern.
This will also help scientists who have been studying the trout. The U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Forest Service have been monitoring brook trout population in Whately's West Brook since 1997. That is because this particular kind of fish is considered an indicator of ecosystem change.