Lamoille County Planning Commission


Lamoille River Corridor Plan

A Phase 1 Stream Geomorphic Assessment following Agency of Natural Resources Protocols was completed for the Lamoille River by LCPC in 2005. The LCPC then retained Bear Creek Environmental to perform Phase 2 Stream Geomorphic Assessments and Bridge and Culvert Assessments of select reaches of the Lamoille River during 2006, including the reaches focused on in this report in the towns of Hardwick, Wolcott, Hyde Park, Morristown and Johnson.  These stream geomorphic assessments provide information about the physical condition of the Lamoille River watershed and the factors that influence the stability of these systems.  

This river corridor plan includes the Lamoille River main stem from Hardwick to Johnson, Vermont. The Phase 2 stream geomorphic assessment study area focused on 10 stream reaches between the Hardwick Lake Dam and Railroad Street in Johnson. The Lamoille River has a watershed size of 204 square miles at the downstream end of the study area in Johnson, Vermont. The combined length of the river reaches assessed is approximately 25.8 miles. The Lamoille River within the study area flows east to west through the Towns of Hardwick, Wolcott, Morristown, Hyde Park and Johnson. The Lamoille continues to flow westerly downstream of Johnson and eventually joins Lake Champlain in Milton at an elevation of 95 feet above sea level.

All assessed segments and reaches in the Lamoille study area were found to be in fair geomorphic condition. The main stem of the Lamoille River is experiencing high rates of bank erosion. The bank erosion has been accelerated due to land use activities and channel and floodplain modifications. Significant channel straightening, bank armoring, berming, and floodplain encroachment have occurred within this river system both on the main stem and major tributaries. Along much of the main stem, the river channel is currently migrating laterally to recreate a new floodplain at a lower elevation to dissipate energy and become more stable. As the river works toward a more stable equilibrium, the communities of Hardwick, Wolcott, Hyde Park, Morristown, and Johnson have the opportunity to reestablish floodplain vegetation and protect the river from further encroachments through the adoption of fluvial erosion hazard zones.

Site specific projects are identified for the Lamoille River main stem in the river corridor plan. The project strategy, technical feasibility, and priority for each project are listed by project number and reach. High priority projects include river corridor easements and floodplain restoration projects to provide attenuation of sediment and floodwaters, riparian buffer improvement areas, and the replacement of undersized bridges.

Download the Lamoille River Corridor Plan - Hardwick to Johnson.

 Download the Lamoille River Corridor Plan - Johnson to Cambridge.