Photos of the Long Island Sound

Research & Monitoring

Status and Trends: LISS Environmental Indicators

Atlantic Salmon Restoration in the CT River System

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 141
2009   75
2010   51
2011 111
2012   57
2013   92
2014   32
2015   22

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 includes counts at  the first dam on the Connecticut 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. Besides Holyoke fish are counted at three tributaries to the CT river: The Salmon, Farmington, and Westfield rivers.

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Atlantic Salmon. Photo by Robert DeGoursey, UConn

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