The differences between the Ipswich Mill and Warner’s Pond dams

June 7, 2024

In light of the Ipswich Town Meeting vote on May 21 in support of removal of the Ipswich Mill Dam, it would be helpful to highlight the important differences between that dam and Concord’s Warner’s Pond dam:

  • Ipswich Mill Dam is on a river that flows directly into the ocean, and there are migratory fish at the dam. Warner’s Pond dam is on a perennial stream (Nashoba Brook), and there are no migratory fish present.
  • Ipswich dam is old and if it were retained, would require restoration to stay safe.  Warner’s Pond dam was rebuilt in 2008, making it safe.
  • Removing the Ipswich dam will open up 45 miles of upstream habitat, and restore the rare freshwater-ocean tidal habitat that the dam currently blocks. This would create one of the rarest wetland habitats in Massachusetts. Removing Warner’s Pond dam would change nothing for migratory fish due to other existing dams up and downstream of the pond, and it would create a marshy wetland that is common in Massachusetts.

To sum it up, removing Warner’s Pond Dam would be of little consequence to fish passage, but very destructive to the recreational opportunities afforded by the pond.

Diane Hannon

Nimrod Drive

Member, Friends of Warner’s Pond