Souhegan Watershed Facts
River Length: 34.8 miles from the convergence of the South Branch
and West Branch of the Souhegan in New Ipswich to the Merrimack River.
Watershed Area: 170 square miles.
Towns in the Watershed:Ashby (MA), Ashburnham (MA), New Ipswich,
Temple, Sharon, Greenfield, Lyndeborough, Greenville, Brookline, Wilton,
Milford, Mont Vernon, Amherst, and Merrimack.
Watershed Population: 35,000 people.
Average Monthly Flows: high - 818 cubic feet per second in April;
low - 39 cfs in September.
Water Quality: Class B (fishable and swimmable)
for its entire length.
Major Tributaries: Furnace Brook, Temple Brook, Blood brook,
Gambol Brook, Stony Brook, Purgatory Brook, Tucker brook, Caesar's Brook,
Beaver Brook, Great Brook, and Hartshorn Brook.
Groundwater Resources: Five municipal water supply wells are
located within the watershed.
Water Withdrawals: 16 registered water withdrawals: 11 surface
water withdrawals for irrigation, hydropower, snowmaking with one
municipal water supply, industrial supply, and fish hatchery.
Water Discharges: 5 NPDES discharges: 2 municipal wastewater
treatment facilities (Greenville, 0.25 MGD and Milford, 2.15 MGD design
capacity) and 3 industrial discharges; 2 other discharges for aquaculture
and sand/gravel extraction.
Dams: Five operating hydro facilities on the river: 1 in New
Ipswitch, 2 in Greenville, 2 in Wilton. Four other currently unused dams:
1 in New Ipswich, 1 in Wilton, 2 in Milford. The Merrimack Village Dam that blocked the entrance to the river was removed in 2008. The two dams in Milford are being studied for removal also. You can read about the dam removal in Merrimack here. http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2012/09/merrimack-village-dam-results-of-removing-a-dam-in-new-hampshire?page=2.
There are also 13 flood control dams on the tributaries.
Recreation: Canoeing, kayaking, fishing, swimming, hiking, picnicking.
Fisheries: Stocked with Rainbow, Brook, and Brown trout for put and
Stocked with 100,000 Salmon fry each year as part of Salmon Restoration Program.
Salmon can not be caught.
Threatened and Endangered Species: 28 species of plants and animals
on endangered or threatened list. Seven exemplary natural communities.
Web pages by Richard Hart.
Send comments and contributions to me at RichHart@gmail.com.