Photos of the Long Island Sound

Research & Monitoring

Plants, Fish, and Wildlife Monitoring

Long Island Sound Fish Trawl Survey

Managing a fishery starts with assessing the abundance and types of fish in the sea. For more than 25 years, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) has conducted a trawl survey throughout the Sound to track the size of fish populations. On each trawl, the crew of the research vessel John Dempsey works quickly and precisely to count, weigh, and measure finfish and invertebrates before returning them to the water and moving on to the next site. The samples enable resource managers to compare year to year the relative abundance of dozens of species living in Long Island Sound’s varied habitats.

View a slideshow or download the poster Keeping Tabs on the Fishery to learn more about the trawl survey.

Other Monitoring Programs

  • The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and CTDEEP monitor the abundance of fish in embayments and tributaries on both sides of the Sound.
  • The US Fish and Wildlife Services, with LISS funds, monitor the extent of eelgrass (an underwater rooted plant) in embayments and open areas of the Sound. Eelgrass provides important habitats for small fish, scallops, and waterbirds.
  • The state environmental agencies monitor the abundance of piper plovers and least terns, protected species that inhabitat Long Island Sound beaches.
  • Sacred Heart University has developed the Sound-wide Project Limulus to monitor horseshoe crab populations when they spawn on Long Island Sound beaches.

LIS Fish Trawl Survey

LIS Fish Trawl Survey

All of the fish captured during one tow are processed before the catch from another tow is brought onboard. Processing includes recording the weights, counts and lengths of fish. Here a butterfish is being measured. (Photo by Richard Howard)

Environmental Indicator

Living Marine Resources

Living marine resources environmental indicators include, shellfish, finfish, seals and coastal bird populations. Learn more

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