News Release

Atlantic Salmon Return Earlier Than Ever to Holyoke Fish Lift

April 2, 2006

Contact:

Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220
Website: https://www.fws.gov/external-affairs/public-affairs/



The first Atlantic salmon migrating up the Connecticut River this spring reached the Robert E. Barrett Fishway at the Holyoke Dam last Friday, April 21. It is the earliest date that the salmon have ever returned to the fish lift, according to Micky Novak, project leader for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Richard Cronin National Salmon Station in Sunderland, Mass.

Last year, the first Atlantic salmon arrived at the fish lift on May 12. He attributes the early return to low water levels in the river.

"The water is still cold, about 50 degrees; however, with no appreciable snow melt or rains, the river isn't raging as it usually is at this time of year. The low water conditions are favorable for fish migration," said Novak.

So far this year, two Atlantic salmon have reached the fish lift. Novak brought the fish to the salmon station, where he will collect biological data from them as part of ongoing efforts to recover the species in the Connecticut River. The fish will be placed in indoor pools, where they will stay until they spawn late this fall.

According to Novak, 90 percent of the Atlantic salmon trapped at the Holyoke fish lift are brought to the salmon station as part of the Atlantic salmon recovery program. The remaining 10 percent are equipped with radio tags and released above the dam. Some later have been monitored hundreds of miles to the north.

For further information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - http://www.fws.gov

For daily counts of Atlantic salmon, American shad, and other species at the Robert Barrett Fishway - http://www.fws.gov/r5crc/Fish/daily.html

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

-FWS-

Information contained in older news items may be outdated. These materials are made available as historical archival information only. Individual contacts have been replaced with general External Affairs office information. No other updates have been made to the information and we do not guarantee current accuracy or completeness.


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.