Fred Murphy Goes Fishing

Surveying by Snowshoe

A map of tracks and sign found in the proposed Route 101 Bypass B3 corridor in 1981.

A map of tracks and sign found in the proposed Route 101 Bypass corridors in 1981. Click on the map for a larger view.

From the mid-1970s to early 1980s, the NH Department of Transportation (NHDOT) and NH Fish and Game Department (NHFG) conducted a legally-mandated Environmental Impact Study of the several corridors being considered for a Route 101 bypass of Dublin village. John Kulish and I volunteered to help determine which game and furbearers were present and would be impacted by each of these corridors. This entailed traveling each corridor on snowshoes and recording the tracks and other signs we found.

On each excursion, one or two NHFG biologists would join us, most often the Deer Project Leader, Joe Wiley. Fred Murphy, NHDOT’s “Highway Environmentalist,” was also always along for the trek. Fred’s credentials for this title were a bit thin, and the truth is he really wanted to see the bypass built.

By 1981, the powers that be had decided a modification of the “B” corridor was the way to go. The “B-3” corridor went around Dublin village — way around — and well up into Harrisville, close to the Cobb Meadow wetland along Brush Brook.

“Not a Trout Stream”

So, one January day in 1981 we set out on snowshoes to survey the section of corridor along Brush Brook, which had been declared “not a trout stream” and hence of less recreational value. Fred Murphy was a cheerful Irish bloke and rather big, and the day was, for January, rather warm. As we trudged along the edge of the brook, one of Fred’s snowshoes broke through the ice and down into the stream. When he hoisted the snowshoe up and out of the water, on top of the snowshoe was a little brook trout!

The bypass wasn’t built in the B-3 Corridor. In fact, it wasn’t built anywhere — but that’s another (long) story….

—Meade Cadot