GILL, Mass. (WWLP) – There is no drought currently in western Massachusetts, but some areas of the Connecticut River in Franklin County are drying up.
Barton Cove is located right upstream of Turner Falls and is located off of the Connecticut River. From putting their boats in the water to enjoying the river from the banks, many residents of Franklin County enjoy spending time in Barton Cove.
Many boat owners were sitting in a line this past weekend, waiting to get their boats in the water so they could enjoy the sunny and warm weather. The backup at the boat ramp was caused by the river levels being extremely low. Many boat owners could not get their boats in, or out, of the water. This decrease in water levels is being blamed by residents on the dams that seem to be taking too much water from the area at once.
“The level has gone down more here now than I have ever seen in the past. And I’ve been doing this for at least 12 years and this is appalling, this is what it comes down too,” said Louis Guillette of Northfield.
The water levels have gotten so low that the wildlife is starting to suffer. You can commonly find bald eagles and waterfowl such as ducks and geese within this area feeding on the fish. Many large and smallmouth bass are found in this area too.
Without high enough water levels, many plants and fish egg beds will dry up, which all together will disturb the wildlife in the area. The fluctuations in water levels can lead to changes in navigation and can become dangerous all of a sudden.