The Nature Conservancy & U.S. Fish and Wildlife agreed to remove an old, unneeded dam from Reynolds Gully, a high-quality stream that provides habitat for native brook trout and flows eventually into Hemlock Lake, the near-wilderness lake that provides Rochester with drinking water.
That stretch of Reynolds Gully passes through a 310-acre parcel the conservancy owns near Hemlock Lake, which is in Livingston County about 30 miles south of Rochester. The group hopes to add the property to Harriett Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area, which lies between Hemlock and nearby Honeoye Lake on Ontario County.
“The project will restore more natural movement of water, better connect the stream to its floodplain and remove an unused structure on the river that is a hazard in times of heavy rain,” the Central and Western New York chapter of the conservancy said in a statement. ““Now, for the first time in more than 50 years, brook trout will be able to travel freely in this stretch of the watershed.”