New research found evidence of trout spawning near a dam on the Deerfield River

A conservation group believes a hydropower dam on the Deerfield River could be harming trout

CHARLEMONT, Mass. (WWLP)-Trout are spawning in the Deerfield River.

The Deerfield River Watershed Trout Unlimited group conducted study and discovered that trout have been laying eggs near the Fife Dam, operated by Brookfield Power.

“This study has good evidence that trout are attempting to spawn in the river and could be affected by project operationsm,” said Andrea Donlon, River Stewardess for the Connecticut River Conservancy.

Rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout swim in the Deerfield River. The Trout Unlimited study suggests the low flow conditions caused by the dam may threaten the trouts survival.

The Deerfield River runs through much of Franklin County, including Charlemont. There’s a variety of stocked and wild trout that swim in this river. Conservation groups hope that hydro-power operations become more environmentally friendly.

“There’s no dispute about that hydro-peaking operations are bad and its not just bad for fish spawning like what we are seeing, but it impacts other macrovertebrate, other species that live within this river,” said Kevin Parsons, President of the Deerfield River Watershed Trout Unlimited.

Parsons told 22News a MassWildlife study had already found that hydro-power operations were killing dragonflies along the river.

Brookfield Power said they will not be commenting on this study at this time.