CT DEEP and Partners Will Host Events to Celebrate World Fish Migration Day
On Saturday, April 21, conservationists worldwide will be celebrating the Third World Fish Migration Day. In observation of this occasion, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is teaming with partners across the state to host events at fourteen locations, showcasing some of the many sites in Connecticut where the DEEP and its partners are working to restore runs of migratory fish.
The species that migrate between saltwater and freshwater are important to the state’s ecosystems. However, the construction of thousands of dams blocked migration routes, decimating the runs. Many of the featured events on April 21 will provide tours of fishways, which were built to allow fish to continue to move upstream by circumventing a dam. In some cases, these tours will allow visitors access to underground viewing windows that are not normally open to the public. Amongst the events will be an opportunity to see where a dam was removed in order to restore a migration route, a practice which is occurring more frequently throughout Connecticut and the nation.
The day will begin at 9:00am at Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam where there will be exhibits, live fish, a release of Alewives – an important migratory species – and remarks by DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee. Open house events at the remaining sites will generally run from 10am until 3pm. Locations of these events include the Rainbow Dam Fishway in Windsor, the Greeneville Fishlift in Norwich, Mianus Pond Fishway in Greenwich, the former site of the Ed Bills Dam in Lyme, and ten other sites where there are fishways that allow fish to get around dams. For a full list of locations, directions, and event descriptions, visit www.ctriversalmon.org/world-fish-migration-day-in-connecticut/. To see all of the events worldwide in visit www.worldfishmigrationday.com/events. All the events are free.
Migratory fishes in Connecticut include Atlantic Salmon, American Shad, Alewife, Blueback Herring, Sea Lamprey, Striped Bass, Atlantic Sturgeon, Shortnose Sturgeon, Hickory Shad, Gizzard Shad, and American Eel. Runs of Alewife are expected to be in full swing by April 21, while American Shad might be running at the eastern Connecticut sites.
Partners include Connecticut River Salmon Association, The Nature Conservancy, Save the Sound, Norwich Public Utilities, First Light Power, and others.