At the most recent NH Fish and Game (NHFG) Commission meeting on Jan. 15, a NHFG Fisheries Biologist made a presentation to the commission on the benefits to New Hampshire’s native trout population that would result from removing a dam on the South Branch Gale River in Bethlehem.
NHFG Executive Director Glenn Normandeau corroborated the positive results on trout populations indicating that his experience was that once dams are removed fish begin almost immediately to utilize upstream tributaries which they had used prior to the dam construction. However, the commissioners gave unscientific reasons why they don’t want to spend the money. One commissioner even said how he used to dynamite beaver dams for much less money than what was proposed to complete the dam removal project.
This is just another illustration of why we need a more diversified, engaged NHFG Commission. We need commissioners who understand or are willing to learn the science behind removing a dam and the habitat restoration that is needed. It takes a lot more than a stick of dynamite to do the job correctly. Please support HB 1571, the 2020 legislation that will give the governor and executive councilors more choices when appointing commissioners and will remove those who would rather use dynamite than science to solve problems. Please check out the Voices of Wildlife in New Hampshire website for more info on HB 1571 and send comments to the New Hampshire House Committee that will hear HB 1571 at 2 p.m. on Feb. 4.