As part of an on-going project with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Hanover Conservancy has conducted a treatment to control invasive Japanese Knotweed along the corridor of Mink Brook in the Mink Brook Nature Preserve. A special permit has been issued for this work, carried out by a licensed professional under the supervision of our eco-forester, Ehrhard Frost. Our project is funded by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Aggressive non-native plants like Japanese knotweed, honeysuckle, bittersweet, and glossy buckthorn steal habitat from native plants and wildlife. We are in the middle of a three-year project to control them.
In the spring of 2012, we began the next phase of this project, replanting with 2000 native trees and shrubs that are well-adapted to growing conditions at Mink Brook Nature Preserve.
The Mink Brook watershed, Hanover’s largest, harbors healthy populations of wild brook trout, even in some of its smallest tributaries. Fisheries biologists from New Hampshire’s Fish and Game Department, working with volunteers from Trout Unlimited, the Conservancy’s Mink Brook Stewardship Committee, and Hanover students conducted a thorough study of the Mink Brook watershed in July, 2011.
The study is part of the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture, a region-wide effort looking at habitat for wild brook trout. At Mink Brook, biologists examined details of each section’s habitat characteristics, measured water temperature, and recorded the length, weight, and species of each fish captured. Fish were “borrowed” from the water by electro-fishing – a wand sending a weak electric current through the water temporarily stuns the fish, which can then be scooped up with a net and transferred to a bucket for study. All fish were returned to the brook after their brief examination.
Mink Brook is among the streams under study by Dartmouth for survival of young Atlantic salmon, and a number of young salmon turned up.