Shortnose sturgeon captured at the Holyoke Dam Fish Lift are measured and weighed. Connecticut Fish Species List. Their status also was recently reviewed and the USFWS determined that listing as federally endangered was not warranted. Measuring blueback herring from the Farmington River, CT. Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC). Click on one of the fish listed below to see a map that shows its current known range in the Connecticut River watershed. Adjusting radio receiver equipment at Holyoke Dam for fish movement and passage studies. For example, numbers have increased substantially in parts of the Connecticut River basin, with a record number (over 39,000) counted using the fish passage at Vernon Dam in 2015. Oxbow Pond. (413) 548-9138 Over 142 species of fish, 14 of which are migratory, call the Connecticut River and it’s tributary streams home. Knowing how many fish and what species use these fishways helps us make decisions on how to best restore our migratory fishes. Ken Sprankle, Project Leader While this is encouraging, improvements to fish passage in the Connecticut River are still needed to restore a fully sustainable recreational and commercial fishery for American shad. These fish are ecologically, culturally and economically important to the region as an important food source for people, and for other fish and wildlife, including fish and wildlife that people like to eat. And upon their death post-spawning, adults provide important nutrients to the river, especially in headwater areas. Continued monitoring to carefully track population trends is helping us manage for future commercial and recreational shad fishing. Some fish in the Connecticut River have been identified as unsafe for human consumption by state agencies in the watershed due to unsafe levels of mercury and PCBs in fish tissue. Fishways have opened up hundreds of miles of river to migratory fish in the Connecticut River watershed! The Oxbow is a fertile, 204-acre, warm water pond occupying the old riverbed of the Connecticut River. In particular, restoring river herring (blueback herring and alewife), American shad, American eel, Atlantic sturgeon and shortnose sturgeon are priorities, however, all migratory and resident aquatic species benefit from the work conducted by our office. Over 142 species of fish, 14 of which are migratory, call the Connecticut River and it’s tributary streams home. Up and downstream movements have been improved, however, at the Holyoke Dam with new fish passage and protection measures completed in 2016. Some rivers, however, are showing improved runs of shad. Each spring, hundreds of thousands of fish migrate from the ocean to the Connecticut River such as alewife and blueback herring, American eel and American shad, sea lamprey, striped bass, shortnose sturgeon and more recently, Atlantic sturgeon. The USFWS called for improving passage around dams and improved monitoring to carefully track population trends. Although you may not become ill right away from consuming fish with posted advisories, accumulation of the toxins in these fish over a period of time can cause chronic illnesses. By the 1990’s, however, many states had closed their fishing. On February 28, 2020, the Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Commission approved the American Shad Management Plan Addendum that addresses fish passage performance measures that managers believe are necessary and achievable to make meaningful progress on the goals and objectives of the Shad Plan. We are monitoring fish populations, cooperating on research studies, removing obstacles to migration, creating fishways so fish can migrate around dams, and boosting dwindling populations with fish from other stable populations. The fast and cold flows of the upper Connecticut hold brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout year round. American eel once made up over a quarter of the total fish found in Atlantic coastal streams. NMFS noted, however, that there was a need for increased measures to conserve the fish, and improved monitoring and research to carefully track population trends. The Connecticut River Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (CTRFWCO) protects, restores and helps manage migratory fish and their habitats in the Connecticut River basin. We also work with dam-owners on relicensing hyrdroelectric projects to minimize impacts to the environment and migratory fishes; to improve access to historic spawning areas for migratory fish; and to help dam-owners comply with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) environmental requirements. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, however, does allow fishing in some rivers. It is illegal to fish for them, and illegal to take their eggs. We know this because we count the number of fish passing through these structures. Overall size and health of population is evaluated to help make decisions on restoring alewife in the CT river. And the Connecticut River is home to one of the largest known populations on the east coast. On the east coast, however, they are an important part of the ecosystem. Migratory Fish Restoration Benefits Everyone! There was a large commercial fishery for Atlantic sturgeon in the 1880’s through the 1950’s. Opening rivers so they can reach their spawning grounds will help improve their reproductive success and increase their population size. This file also includes a Memorandum that was developed by the Technical Committee and the Addendum Plan Team that reviews the public process, comments received, and responses. Sunderland, MA 01375 You can also "watch" any of the species listed below and stay up to date when other anglers add comments and recipes. ken_sprankle@fws.gov, Juvenile American Shad Assessment Poster January 2020, CTR Juvenile American Shad Assessment (2019), Connecticut River Anadromous Sea Lamprey Management Plan (2018), CTR River Herring Spawning Stock Assessments (2018), CTR Juvenile American Shad Assessments (2018), Connecticut River Fish Restoration Annual Report (2019), ASFMC Connecticut River American Shad Habitat Plan (2014), CRASC River Herring Restoration Status and Plans in the Connecticut River Basin (2015, CRASC River Herring Management Plan (2003), Northeast Region Fish and Aquatic Conservation. Adult nesting behavior in rivers helps clean river sediments, and improves spawning habitat for other fishes. We work closely with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission  (ASFMC) and the Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Commission (CRASC) to assess the status and health of migratory fish for the protection, restoration and management of these species. In 2012, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration listed them as endangered along parts of the eastern United States. Alewife and blueback herring from the Connecticut River, This American shad is tagged to help biologists learn more about where the shad go in the. By Chris Dehnel, Patch Staff Oct 1, 2019 11:48 am ET Jack Dugay and his 9-pound record bowfin. A moratorium on fishing for alewife and blueback herring remains in place in Connecticut and throughout most of the east coast. Connecticut River Fish and WildlifeConservation Office The Connecticut River Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (CTRFWCO) protects, restores and helps manage migratory fish and their habitats in the Connecticut River basin. Assisting UMASS/USGS Conte Lab research studies on river herring spawning. The complete CRASC package (Management Plan and Addendum) can be viewed here. Biologists are working on ways to allow eels to move up and downstream of dams. Decades of losing good spawning and nursery habitat, pollution, overfishing and damming of rivers, which prevented sturgeon from reaching home spawning grounds caused their numbers in the wild to become very low. Sea lamprey is a parasitic fish, native to the Atlantic ocean. A record fish was caught by a teenage angler on the Connecticut River in Glastonbury. The Connecticut River is the longest river in New England, stretching over 400 miles from the Long Island Sound to the Canadian border. Visit Fish Facts for more information about these fascinating and important fish. The Connecticut River is the longest river in New England at 406 miles flowing from Quebec, Canada (and Pittsburg, NH) all the way to Long Island Sound. It's a great way to keep informed about your favorite fish species. Restoring alewife, blueback herring, shad, eel, and the shortnose sturgeon are office priorities, however, all migratory and resident aquatic species benefit from our efforts. These “primitive fishes” are much maligned outside of their historic range, where they have inflicted considerable damage to the recreational fishery in the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. They determined that listing as endangered or threatened was not warranted. Find Migratory Fish Counts and learn more about dams where fish are counted. Each spring, hundreds of thousands of fish migrate from the ocean to the Connecticut River such as alewife and blueback herring, American eel and American shad, sea lamprey, striped bass, shortnose sturgeon and more recently, Atlantic sturgeon.

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