The Mianus Chapter has been actively working to restore the Norwalk River since the mid-1990s. In that time, the chapter has complete dmore than $750,000 of restoration work along the river, including tens of thousands of volunteer hours.
One of the major accomplishments was the completion of a special fish bypass channel around the Cannondale Dam which allows trout to move upstream into miles of spawning habitat. This project, completed in part thanks to generous funding from the Donner Foundation, has been an anchor on our many restoration projects.
A founding member of the Norwalk River Watershed Initiative, a partnership of local governments, state agencies and other environmentally oriented nonprofit organizations., the Mianus Chapter continues to focus on restoring the river for the wild brown trout thriving there.
At the chapter's first restoration project location, completed in 1996 in Wilton, the state found wild brown trout numbers more than doubled in the following year thanks to the improved habitat.
Since that time, projects to shore up river banks, plant native vegetation and build in-stream habitat for trout have continued.
Many challenges continue to face the Norwalk River. In the summer months, the river becomes extremely low - a result of development and the reduction of groundwater reserves - making it difficult for wild trout to survive. But some still do.
Another threat facing the Norwalk is pollution. In recent years, water quality testing has shown the Norwalk to have high levels of bacteria pollutants from failing septic systems and other sources, and also high levels of fertilizers and other chemicals.
While restoration efforts continue, one of the major goals of the chapter is to increase awareness of the delicate balance of the Norwalk River and the need to protect it from further harm.
To help with future restoration projects, contact Jeff Yates to be added to the list of volunteers.
This fish bypass, made possible in part by a donation from the Donner Foundation, allows trout and other migratory species to swim upstream around the dam in Cannondale on the Norwalk River.