Habitat restoration in the Farmington River just took a big step forward, thanks to a major gift of $250,000 from Prudence Pease Cutler to the Farmington River Watershed Association. “There are no words which could accurately depict how much this means to all of us who are dedicated to the FRWA and its mission,” said Michael Gagne, President of FRWA. The gift is in memory of R. Dennis Cutler, a longtime resident of Farmington who rowed and fly fished on the river and whose family has strong ties to the Farmington River. Mr. Cutler’s sisters were Helen Winter of the Helen Winter Grist Mill and Ruth (June) Chapman Ford, co-owner of the Mill Race Bookstore. The gift will support the
construction of a rock ramp fishway over the Grist Mill (Winchell Smith) Dam. The ramp will mimic the appearance and function of a natural rapid, opening the way for American shad and river herring to get past the dam and swim upstream to historic spawning grounds. The gift can also be used to enhance recreational access to the river at the Grist Mill site or other local areas of the river. It is expected that preparations for the Grist Mill fishway project will begin in late 2012 or early 2013.