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subject Creek cleaning projects
author Chris W.
city Burlington
posted Sunday Jun 17th 2018, 10:38 AM

As our extended period of low water (genuine drought?) continues, I'm thinking of getting to work on cutting some wood in bad places on a few creeks:

Lower New Haven

  1. There is a fairly big tree, heavily laden with branches, lying on the river left side of the channel in the last rapid above the rapid at the South Street bridge. It's a hazard where it is, and it could move to worse location.
  2. There is a black walnut log coming off the river right bank upstream of the island rapid (see next item). It extends quite far into the river, and represents a serious hazard for anyone swimming in that section.
  3. There are two logs framing the entrance to the right channel of the island rapid opposite the lumber yard. These can be avoided by staying in the middle of the channel, but they could (and probably will) fall into the river at some point and move into a worse location.

Mill Brook, Waitsfield

  1. Within the first quarter mile after the put-in at German Flats Road there are two (?) trees coming off the river left bank that obstruct more than half the channel. The flow trends to river left at that point, and the trees have multiple branches at or near water level at runnable flows. They should at least be cut back.

Shepard Brook

These are pet projects of mine. I strongly recommend letting the adjacent landowners know if one plans to work on these sections. The landowner near the Airport Road bridge has been friendly to me in the past (and is a former whitewater canoeist):

  1. Downstream of the Airport Road bridge (a):  There is wood in the river (multiple logs) on river left. This is avoidable at runnable flows, but it could easily move to a more problematic location. The logs can be cut with a hand saw.
  2. Downstream of the Airport Road bridge (b):  Farther downstream, where the river splits into 3 channels, there are two logs hanging low over the middle channel, which carries the bulk of the flow. It is possible to duck under these logs at a medium low level, but they could drop farther into the river. A big hand saw could be used on these, but a chain saw is really called for.
  3. Just upstream of a sugar house on river left (about here on Google Maps) there is a stacked set of river wide logs that fell across the river this past April. They force a mandatory portage, and could be quite hard to avoid at higher flows. This strainer calls for a crew with a chain saw and hand saws. The suspension of the higher logs could make them quite hard to work on safely. I would advise checking with the landowner (the house across the North Fayston Road). They might want to have the wood, which could amount to 1.5 cords.

Browns River (in Westford)

  1. Some new wood was discovered during a run on June 19th. About 40 yards before the start of the lead-in rapid above the broken dam, there is a large tree lying across the river, with lots of branches and green leaves. I'd guess it went down during the thunderstorms on Monday (6/18). Tony and I were able to sneak past it on far river right, albeit with some scraping over rocks just under the surface. The trunk is large, but the branches can and should be cut before the whole thing is ripped loose and swept down towards the broken dam in a high water event.
  2. There is other new wood farther downstream, which is all avoidable for the time being. Note that the sneak route on far river right at the river-wide ledge (the 3rd major drop) is obstructed by a log at its entrance.


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