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George & Woodward H. Griswold Preserve

A 51-acre preserve off of Route 1. The preserve provides parking, walking trails and viewing of the fish ladder on Mill Pond.

Directions. The George & Woodward Griswold Preserve (51 acres) is located off the Boston Post Road, about two miles west of Laysville Center and almost opposite Stoneleigh Knoll. Turn right into the parking lot when coming from the east.
 Map it?

Trail. The loop or perimeter trail is entered between the two cedar posts and bears to the left after about 100 feet. This trail leads directly to the fish ladder area. From the fish ladder area the trail continues along the bank of the pond in an easterly direction for about 300 yards, then turns to the right and enters a wood road back to the parking area. The walk is about about three quarters of a mile and takes about forty minutes. A more direct route is the dirt road to the fish ladder area and back. This walk takes about 20 minutes.

Fish ladder. There is a fish ladder on the property. The fish ladder is monitored by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, DEP who issues weekly fish count reports during the fish run season, please see the Connecticut River Salmon Association's web site for a list of reports.

During fish runs in the spring and fall, the ladder has a viewing window where it's possible to see the fish go up the ladder (go to the lower part of the ladder).

Why a fish ladder?
Diadromous fish are species that live in both saltwater and freshwater and engage in extended spawning migrations back and forth. 
Anadromous fish begin their lives in freshwater, migrate to sea as juveniles, mature at sea, and return to the stream of their origin to spawn. Well-known examples include salmon, shad, alewives, sturgeon, and sea lamprey. 
Catadromous fish (which, in Connecticut include only the American eel) begin their lives in the ocean, migrate to freshwater as juveniles, mature in freshwater, and migrate back to the ocean to spawn. 
When we built dams in all of our rivers during the past 200 years to power mills and hydroelectric projects, we erected barriers that many fish could not get around. This blocked their access to critical habitat. In some cases (such as the alewife), it reduced their population size greatly. In other cases (such as the Atlantic salmon in Connecticut), all spawning habitat was upstream of the dams and it resulted in the species extirpation.
Government agencies such as the CT DEP are working to restore runs of diadromous fish to streams in New England. The best thing to do is remove dams but that is often not possible. The next best thing to do is build a fish ladder to allow fish to swim up and around the dams and access historical habitat. The CT DEP enthusiastically cooperates with local groups like the Old
Lyme Conservation Trust to build and operate fish ladder to support fish restoration to our local communities.

This ladder and another ladder upstream were built in 1998 and 2002, click here for more information and pictures.


Visitor Rules

The following applies to all properties owned and managed by OLCT:

  • No littering, always carry out what you carry in, please bring a bag to put your garbage in.

  • No ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles).
    Trails get beat up and might be dangerous for anyone else to use.
    More info...

  • All dogs/pets under your control at all times.

  • Stay on the trails and do not trespass on adjacent land.

  • Do not camp, start fires, mark trees or collect plants or mineral.

For more information please see our General Information A-Z section.

Let's take care of what we have got so we can enjoy it for a long time to come!

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