Nash Stream Restoration Project

In 2018, the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH partnered with Maker’s Mark to raise critical awareness of the plight of this valued tributary, and generate $10,000 to help restore these fresh waters and fish habitats to their natural states.  

Nash Stream, which was recently named to the National Fish Habitat Partnership’s list of Ten Waters to Watch, is a 15-mile tributary of the Upper Ammonoosuc River flowing from Odell to Stark.

“We at the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire were excited to partner with Maker’s Mark to meet our mutual interests of supporting New Hampshire’s wild places and wild things,” notes Mario Capozzoli, Managing Director of the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire.

“This promotion aligned perfectly with the Maker’s Mark vision of doing good things for society and the environment, which is exactly why we admire their priority of water sustainability and commitment of creating harmony between people and nature.” 

“I was thrilled to partner with Jason Smith, chief of the Inland Fisheries Division at New Hampshire Fish and Game, as Jason is one of our most valuable leaders with an eye toward enhancing our freshwater ecosystems in the Granite State.”

This corporate philanthropic investment funded the completion of the Nash Stream Restoration Project, including restoring the natural habitat and aquatic ecosystem of the stream, which suffered a catastrophic dam collapse nearly 50 years ago.

This project played an integral role in the protection of the 40,000-plus-acre Nash Stream Forest and is expected to have a continued dramatic positive impact on New Hampshire’s native brook trout population.

As the official nonprofit partner of New Hampshire Fish and Game, the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire works to enhance through private financial support, the critical conservation programs of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, so that people and wildlife will benefit for generations to come.

The Nash Stream Restoration Project is located entirely within the publicly-owned, 40,000+ acre Nash Stream Forest, which ensures permanent protection of the restored aquatic resources.

Nash Stream is a 15.3-mile-long (24.6 km) river in northern New Hampshire. It is a tributary of the Upper Ammonoosuc River and part of the Connecticut River watershed.

The Project was one of the largest restoration efforts in the Northeast region.  The Project was a phased, multi‐year effort to restore habitat quality/connectivity so that the watershed supports an intact aquatic ecosystem, including native coldwater fish, specifically wild brook trout.

A significant amount of work had been accomplished since project inception in 2005. Eight culverts were replaced with natural‐bottom structures that span areas greater than the bankfull channel, and three culverts were entirely removed and the roads decommissioned thereby reconnecting tens of miles of previously inaccessible habitat for native aquatic organisms.

Over five miles of mainstem habitat on Nash Stream were also restored, and large wood replenishment was conducted on three perennial tributaries to Nash Stream.

The work in the mainstem and tributaries continues to have a dramatic and beneficial effect on the native fish community; brook trout abundance and size are greater in proximity to work areas.  Fish and Game’s Inland Fisheries Division plans to continue these research projects at Nash Stream Forest with the intent of having a robust, long-term dataset that can be used to guide on the groundwork at Nash Stream and elsewhere.

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Help Save the Hot Hole Pond Fishing Pier

Not everyone has the ability to get out to fish with ease, because many of us have a disability that limits our mobility. The fishing pier at Hot Hole Pond in East Concord was specially designed so that those in wheelchairs or with other movement-impaired conditions can get close to the pond to fish.

Hot Hole Pond is stocked annually with trout by NH Fish and Game, and is within easy access for many in Central New Hampshire. A boat ramp on Hot Hole Pond was built by NH Fish and Game in 1958 and refurbished in 2015, but the fishing pier, built in 1991, remains in disrepair.

hot hole pond

The pier is reaching the end of its safe, useful life. NH Fish and Game has made basic repairs, but the pier needs a complete rebuild to ensure it remains safe and can accommodate a growing population of anglers with mobility concerns. The project cost is $60,000, but unfortunately budget constraints at NH Fish and Game have pushed this fishing pier down the priority list, and we don’t want to see the pier closed. The Department receives federal grant money through Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Funds to apply to the Department’s fisheries programs. This pier project would be eligible for federal funds, but because these grants require non-federal match your donation may be critical to leverage the additional funds needed. In general, projects such as these are eligible for a federal match rate of 3:1. This means for every dollar you donate it could match as much as $3 to the overall cost of this project. This is why we are asking for your help! Please consider making a donation today.

The Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH is the official non-profit partner of NH Fish and Game. Our Mission is to support the Education, Conservation, Wildlife and Law Enforcement programs of NH Fish and Game. The Foundation has agreed to set up a restricted account to receive and protect all donations to this important project. You can donate online, or send a check made payable to Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH, 54 Portsmouth Street, Concord, NH  03301. Please note that your gift is for the Hot Hole Pond Pier.

Your donation takes us “one wooden plank closer” to building a new accessible fishing pier!

For more information on the pier, contact NH Fish and Game Boat Access Coordinator Garret Graaskamp at (603) 271-1748.