Fish ladder for trout breeding planned at Old Man lake site

October 24, 2021 GMT

FRANCONIA, N.H. (AP) — A fish ladder for trout breeding is being planned at the lake on the site where New Hampshire’s Old Man of the Mountain once stood.

The project is organized by the fund that’s dedicated to help preserve a memorial to the Old Man of the Mountain. The massive, naturally formed granite profile attracted tourists to Franconia Notch for about 200 years before it crumbled in 2003. The memorial project was completed last year.

The idea for a fish ladder to restore the natural trout breeding at the lake was first discussed years ago when the Franconia Notch Parkway along Interstate 93 was built.

“It’s a fish ladder leading from Profile Lake through all of the new development we did relating to wetlands and up to what is known as the old breeding pond,” Brian Fowler, president of the Old Man of the Mountain Legacy Fund, told the Caledonian-Record. “Profile Lake’s regional trout breeding area was this pond area, opposite of I-93 … The construction of the interstate cut off this natural breeding cycle.”

Since the interstate was built, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department has stocked the lake with trout. The legacy fund is partnering with the department, Trout Unlimited, and the state parks division.