FRENCHTOWN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Historically, streams in Maine, like the Intervale Brook, were used for transporting logs from the woods to the mills. This caused the stream to became shallow and narrow. This damage had an impact on the fishery and other aspects of the environment, but that is about to change.

It's called chop and drop.

"It's kind of like painting a picture it really is its kind of artwork," said Caribou Springs owner, Jay Milot.

They're literally chopping down trees and dropping them into the stream. Had they let this five-day process happen naturally, it would have taken 200 years.

"Some of them will span the whole stream and the water flowing over them actually scour the bank and create pools underneath and it also backs water up in certain areas," said Plum Creek'sSenior Wildlife Biologist, Ray Ary.

Creating a diverse habitat for the fish.

"You got spawning gravels right here, you got a split channel, you have deposition, you have scour pools here and you have a collection of organics. So you got fish cover, spawning habitat and food for the insects to eat," said Milot.

"In the past, logs in the streams were perceived as a barrier to fish passage so biologists told land managers to remove all wood from the streams. And as we've done the research that we lose the pool habitat, we have flashier floods and also the number and size of fish decreased because they don't have that habitat," said Ary.

While there's a variety of species swimming through the intervale brook, the primary targert is Brook trout. But the restoration will help all fish.

"We're just providing fish options for at high flow periods to find areas to get out ofextreme flow as well as at low flow periods if there's ample deep water habitats so that's there still able to get through the rough spells," said Merry Gallagher, Research Fishery Biologist.

And if all goes well...

"Lots of bigger brook trout, that's the goal that's always the goal," said Gallagher.

Read or Share this story: