West Meadows

Alewife blockage at West Meadows Pond dam,
West Bridgewater, Mass. Tim Watts photo.
West Meadows Pond is a 128 acre pond created in the 1950s by building an earthen berm at the end of a natural pond and meadow along the West Bridgewater and Brockton line in southeastern Massachusetts at the headwaters of West Meadows Brook, a tributary to the Nunketetest (Town River) and the upper Taunton River.

West Meadows Pond and its adjoining wetlands are part of West Bridgewater State Forest and the West Meadows Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The entire area is owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is managed for public recreation and natural resource habitat protection by the Mass. Dept. of Conservation and the Mass. Dept. of Fisheries and Game.

Beginning in the late 1990s KR members observed many hundreds of native alewives coming up the Town River and West Meadow Brook and getting stopped at an impassable culvert at the outlet of West Meadows Pond, where they were obviously trying to reach to spawn. Free access by native alewives to West Meadows would create a spring alewife run of +25,000 fish and greatly enhance the alewife population in the upper Taunton River and Hockomock Swamp watershed.

In early 2012, KR and its members submitted formal proposals to the Mass. DCR and Mass. F&G to use state and federal ecological restoration monies to reconfigure the 1950s era culvert structure at the outlet of West Meadows Pond to allow for the free passage of alewives, American eels and other native fish.

BRIEFING and SUMMARY: West Meadows Restoration Proposal.

PROJECT STATUS: As of May 2012, Mass. Dept. of Conservation (DCR), owner of record of the outlet structure at West Meadows Pond, has declined without explanation to provide the letter of support necessary to allow KR to submit our restoration proposal to the Mass. Dept. of Ecological Restoration (MDER).