Media Bulletin: January 6, 2014
In July 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that after 45 years it would no longer culture Atlantic salmon for restoration efforts in the Connecticut River Basin. Low numbers of salmon returning to the river, and the science supporting salmon restoration, led to our decision to focus on programs to restore other species of anadromous fish.
Following this decision, the Service is evaluating the future role of the Richard Cronin National Salmon Station now that it not being used to rear Atlantic salmon broodstock. The station was established in 1982 to hold and spawn sea-run Atlantic salmon and incubate salmon eggs for stocking programs on the Connecticut.
The Service is now exploring opportunities for partnerships with the four states in the watershed and other entities to meet the highest fisheries management and aquatic conservation priorities on the river. Potential future uses of the salmon station include research and a role in restoration programs for freshwater mussels, American shad, American eel, river herring or shortnose sturgeon.
Due to reduced federal budgets, we have winterized the facility while the evaluation is ongoing. The last remaining salmon eggs were given to the State of Connecticut in December 2013, and the adult salmon were moved to outdoor raceways at the station. It will remain staffed by one full-time employee at this time. The facility will continue to host veterans fishing programs and other public fishing events, however it will be closed to the public during the winter except for pre-arranged tours or events.