EAST BURKE, Vt. — Officials say work has begun to remove an old dam on the Passumpsic River in East Burke that will open up 99 miles of Vermont river to the passage of fish and other aquatic organisms.

The Connecticut River Conservancy and the Passumpsic Valley Land Trust say work on removing the dam began on Tuesday.

Planning for the project began in 2000.

Work on the dam will be completed by spring.

The Conservancy has been working for years to remove dams in the Connecticut River watershed.