A Phase 1 Stream Geomorphic Assessment following Agency of Natural Resources Protocols was completed for the Little River watershed by Lamoille County Planning Commission (LCPC) and Bear Creek Environmental (BCE) during 2006, and a Phase 2 Stream Geomorphic Assessment following Agency of Natural Resources Protocols was completed for Little River by BCE during summer 2007.
The Little River has a watershed size of 112 square miles. The Phase 2 study focused on stream reaches on the main stem of the Little River and the lowest stream reaches on Miller Brook, Gold Brook and Moss Glen Brook. The combined length of the stream reaches assessed is approximately 21 miles. The Little River begins as Sterling Brook in the headwaters of Mount Mansfield near the boundary of Stowe and Morristown. The Little River heads southeast and then south through the Town of Stowe, where it joins with the West Branch of the Little River. Downstream of Stowe, the Little River crosses into Waterbury and enters Washington County. The Little River flows into the Winooski River at approximately 390 feet above sea level, which then drains westerly into Lake Champlain. The Little River watershed flows through seven towns (Cambridge, Underhill, Morristown, Stowe, Waterbury, Worcester and Bolton) and three counties (Lamoille, Washington and Chittenden). This project focused on Phase 2 reaches within Lamoille County.
As the river works toward a more stable equilibrium, the community of Stowe has the opportunity to provide long-term protection to the river corridor and encourage the reestablishment of floodplain vegetation and healthy instream habitat. At the reach and site level, potential restoration and protection projects that would be compatible with geomorphic adjustments and managing the stream toward equilibrium conditions were identified. A list of 42 potential restoration and conservation projects was developed during project identification. Types of projects include: river corridor protection through corridor easements and conservation efforts, replacing undersized structures causing localized channel instability, improving riparian buffers, and alternative analyses for removing dams and streamside berms that are no longer serving a purpose.
The River Corridor Plan appears below for download.