McQuesten Watershed Restoration Project

McQuesten Brook

McQuesten Brook supports one of the state’s highest quality populations of self-sustaining wild brook trout as well as a variety of other wildlife.

The New Hampshire Rivers Council, with grants from the NH Department of Environmental Services, NH Hampshire Fish and Game Department, and the Samuel P. Hunt Foundation is working with the City of Manchester, the Town of Bedford, and other groups to protect and improve the McQuesten watershed. This unique area and valuable resource is partially located in Bedford and on Manchester’s west side, between Second and South Main Streets.

The work is progressing according to recommended priorities in the McQuesten Brook Geomorphic Assessment and Watershed Restoration Plan (, 29 MB, 196 pp).

In 2016, four dams, one stream obstruction, and two culverts (one replaced with a bridge) have been removed. The next phase of the restoration is working with residents, businesses, and municipalities on stormwater projects.

  • Stormwater and its runoff can include chemicals, sediments, nutrients, and toxins that are washed into McQuesten Brook after rainfall, snowmelt, or from lawns, car washing and other activities. These materials have harmful effects on the habitat, water quality, and the rare and special brook trout that live in McQuesten Brook and McQuesten Pond.
  • The residents, businesses, and municpalities in the McQuesten watershed are the key partners that can eliminate or reduce pollution and improve water quality and improve wildlife habitat.

By working together to manage stormwater in the watershed at an individual or site specific level, we can achieve major and long lasting changes to water quality, watershed health, and ensure the survivability of an incredibly robust population of eastern brook trout in McQuesten Brook. Implementing something as simple as a rain barrel on a residential property can go a long way to reaching the ultimate goal of watershed restoration for McQuesten Brook. The documents provided at the website listed below provide the guidance and step by step instructions to not only determine your stormwater footprint in the watershed but also the tools needed to manage it in a responsible manner making your property “stormwater smart.”


Please click here (, NHDES site) for McQuesten Volunteer River Assessment Program data beginning in 2011.

Michele L. Tremblay, New Hampshire Rivers Council and Stephen C. Landry, NH Department of Environmental Services presented, “To Restore or not to Restore; that is the McQuesten,” at the national Nonpoint Source conferece in November 2018. Click here to view the presentation and advance to 1:54:05.

The Homeowners Guide to Stormwater Management Do-It-Yourself Guide to Stormwater Management (, NHDES site) has great solutions—many that you can implement right now.

To help reduce residential and commercial stormwater runoff, the New Hampshire Rivers Council welcomes your questions, comments, and suggestions to make this project a success. Learn more about this watershed by viewing McQuesten by the Numbers (, 325 KB), a simple, two-page fact sheet with a map and by clicking here (, 400 KB) to view an aerial map.

Please click here (, NHDES site) to view Volunteer River Assessment Program water quality monitoring data for the McQuesten watershed. The New Hampshire Rivers Council has been a proud participant in this program since 2011.

Click here (, external site) to learn more about the City of Manchester Urban Ponds Restoration Program.

Read recent media coverage in The Hippo.

Please visit the Council’s Facebook page () to see pictures of Anheuser-Busch and all of the wonderful volunteers participating in the annual watershed clean-up. Click here (, 1 MB) to see a profile of the undergraduates who worked with the Council in the annual watershed clean-up days.

Get Involved!

Provide us with your contact information, and New Hampshire Rivers Council will keep you up-to-date regarding the McQuesten Brook Watershed Restoration Project.

Only first and last name and email address are required.