Photos of the Long Island Sound

Status and Trends: LISS Environmental Indicators

Type of Indicators: Health/Condition Response/Performance Socio-Economic Historical/Background

Atlantic Salmon Restoration in the CT River

Source: US FWS Connecticut River Coordinator's Office

Atlantic Salmon Counts
1967 0
1968 0
1969 0
1970 0
1971 0
1972 0
1973 0
1974 1
1975 3
1976 2
1977 7
1978 90
1979 58
1980 175
1981 529
1982 90
1983 39
1984 92
1985 310
1986 318
1987 353
1988 95
1989 109
1990 263
1991 203
1992 490
1993 198
1994 326
1995 188
1996 260
1997 199
1998 300
1999 154
2000 77
2001 40
2002 44
2003 43
2004 69
2005 186
2006 214
2007 141
2008 140
2009 75
2010 51
2011 111

What is Being Done to Restore Atlantic Salmon in the Connecticut River?

The Connecticut River restoration program (for salmon and all species) is managed by the Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Commission, which has as members all four Connecticut River states, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, and the US Forest Service. The US Fish & Wildlife Service provides a Coordinator and maintains a website: http://www.fws.gov/r5crc/crc_stations.htm.

What does this indicate?

Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), once abundant in the North Atlantic, migrated into New England rivers to spawn. Their numbers were decimated due to overfishing and loss of spawning habitat as a result of damming.  With the improvement of water quality and reopening of river migratory passage, recent federal and state projects have been implemented to reintroduce Atlantic salmon to the Connecticut River system.

Status

The counts of returning diadromous fish are obtained at the first dam on the river at Holyoke, MA. The dam is 33 feet high (hydroelectric project) and there are two multi-million dollar fishlifts operated by the City of Holyoke.  The fish are counted visually by staff of the Massachusetts Division of Wildlife using a window in the side of the fishlift exit flume. There are four additional dams with fishways located on the Connecticut River upstream of the Holyoke Dam as well as others on upstream tributaries. More fishways and dam removals are planned as well as improvements to existing fishways. Therefore, the number of fish returning each year is a function of successful reproduction and survival in the river years earlier as well as survival rates in the ocean.

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Atlantic Salmon. Photo by Robert DeGoursey, UConn

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