New York Field Office
Northeast Region

Fish Enhancement, Mitigation and Research Fund

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Fish Enhancement, Mitigation, and Research Fund Fact Sheet

Pre-proposal Form

Pre-proposal Form Instructions

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two New Proposals Funded:

Two new projects (the 9th and 10th funded by the FEMRF) are being awarded contracts.  The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT) will be investigating threatened and endangered fish species and species of greatest conservation need in the St. Lawrence River and its tributaries from the headwaters at Cape Vincent downstream to Akwesasne.  The Mohawks of Akwesasne have enjoyed a traditional lifestyle sustained in part by the harvest of fish from the St. Lawrence River and its tributaries.  This lifestyle has been threatened by a decline in the numbers of fish and the safety of consuming them. The USGS will concentrate on the upper river above Ogdensburg, while the SRMT will focus on the lower section of the river between Ogdensburg and Akwesasne.  The information obtained from the research will be incorporated into the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s database and will be used to support the State Wildlife Action Plan.  The information will also benefit Natural Resource Damage Assessments and other management and planning efforts. 

Restoration Toolkit, Funded Proposal #8:

FEMRF funding has been awarded to Ducks Unlimited to implement a pilot project for Phase II of the FEMRF Conservation Strategy for Esocids and Walleye. The restoration toolkit options that were modeled by Dr. Farrell of SUNY-ESF during Phase I will be tested. Each tool in the toolkit is a habitat manipulation to increase fish passage. The Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife staff will be implementing some of the tools by using a specially built amphibious excavator that can cut through dense cattails to open up the marsh so fish can reach spawning areas. The manager of NYSDEC’s French Creek Wildlife Management Area generously offered their 2,200-acre marsh for piloting the restoration toolkit options.  The Conservation Strategy is based upon Strategic Habitat Conservation metrics.  Dr. Farrell has been conducting fish studies along the St. Lawrence River, including French Creek Marsh, for the past 20 years.  Because of this significant baseline data, a pilot project in French Creek Marsh has the greatest potential to measure a population response to the habitat changes created with each tool.

FEMRF Funds a 7th Proposal: Lake Sturgeon Strategy:

The FEMRF recently funded a study for lake sturgeon population enhancement as a strategy for improvement of ecosystem function and controlling invasive species. The ultimate objective of the project is to restore lake sturgeon to the upper St. Lawrence River to improve food web dynamics and the overall health and resiliency of the river ecosystem. Project proponents include SUNY-ESF, USGS and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe.  Products from the Phase I feasibility study will include modeling population responses to determine stocking levels; facilities needed and related costs; and determination of egg sources including disease and genetic concerns.  Initial outreach for this project was conducted by offering a course to students at SUNY-ESF during the 2007 Fall Semester which provided them an opportunity to interact with scientists from NYSDEC, USGS, and Cornell to develop a lake sturgeon restoration plan and examine potential ecosystem responses. 

06/22/07: FEMRF Funds a Sixth Proposal:

The Service, in Project Reviews with the Fisheries Advisory Committee, approved a sixth proposal for funding with the Fish Enhancement, Mitigation, and Research Fund. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation executed a contract with the Research Foundation of State University New York (SUNY), in the amount of $300,000.00, to fund Phase I of a Conservation Strategy to restore northern pike, muskellunge, and walleye populations in the St. Lawrence River. During the next 2 years, Dr. John Farrell and his staff from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry will evaluate quantity and quality of available habitat, create bathymetric maps of suitable spawning habitat, and develop models to provide a toolkit of restoration options. The results of Phase I will determine where implementation (Phase II) should occur to maximize benefits to these native fish populations.

sturgeon underwater

05/25/07: FEMRF Funds a Fifth Proposal:

The Service, in Project Reviews with the Fisheries Advisory Committee, approved a fifth proposal for funding with the Fish Enhancement, Mitigation, and Research Fund. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation executed a contract with the Town of Ft. Covington to provide a portion of the funding needed to remove a dam across the Salmon River. The dam originally provided a recreational swimming hole for the Town. SUNY-ESF scientists conducted extensive baseline monitoring, including a contaminant assessment of sediments behind the dam. The Town pursued several grants and donations from many partners to raise the total of $637,000.00 needed to remove the dam. The Salmon River supports lake sturgeon, American eel, walleye, and the Eastern sand darter, all New York State Species of Concern.


5/14/07 Delaney Bay Ladder Enhances Pike Spawning (Federal Projects):

During the past two weeks, the Thousand Islands Biological Station (TIBS) conducted their annual spawning surveys for northern pike and muskellunge in the St. Lawrence River and found the highest number of fish behind the new fish ladder in Delaney Bay. The water control structure and fish ladder were funded by the Fish Enhancement, Mitigation and Research Fund and installed by Partners for Fish and Wildlife and Ducks Unlimited staff during October 2006. Dr. John Farrell, Director of TIBS, stated that generally esocid populations in the St. Lawrence River are down this year and was very pleased to find high numbers spawning in the enhanced marsh habitat at Delaney Bay.

Eel netting at Delaney Ladder

9/8/06: FEMRF Funds a Fourth Proposal:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in Project Reviews with the Fisheries Advisory Committee (FAC), approved a fourth proposal for funding with the Fish Enhancement, Mitigation, and Research Fund. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation executed a contract with the Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT) to fund one-third of the acquisition costs for a 46-acre parcel adjacent to French Creek Marsh and the NYSDEC French Creek Marsh Wildlife Management Area (WMA), in Clayton, New York. The remaining two-thirds of the purchase price were secured by private donations from residents in the Clayton-Alexandria Bay community and Ducks Unlimited. There are two seasonal tributaries crossing the parcel that drain into the WMA and the property’s southeastern boundary includes a portion of the marsh that could be enlarged to increase northern pike spawning habitat, a species targeted for enhancement by the FEMRF. The uplands will be converted from agriculture to native grasslands to support grassland bird species. TILT will be managing the parcel in perpetuity by incorporating it into their Zenda Farms Preserve. Appropriate public access is being developed with the FAC and Ducks Unlimited.

9/1/06: FEMRF Request for Proposals opens September 1, 2006 - Deadline November 15, 2006:
FEMRF and the Great Lakes Watershed Restoration Program request proposals on shared site.
View RFP here and see http://www.nfwf.org/programs/greatlakes/index.cfm for more information and forms.

6/27/06: FEMRF Funds a Third Proposal:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in Project Reviews with the Fisheries Advisory Committee, approved a third proposal for funding with the Fish Enhancement, Mitigation, and Research Fund. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation executed a contract with the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to conduct a 2-year study to determine whether the eel swimbladder parasite, Anguillicola crassus, is present in American eels in the St. Lawrence River. This parasite is prevalent in New England ports where shipping and urbanization is high and may have extended its range into the St. Lawrence system through ships using the St. Lawrence Seaway. This parasite causes permanent damage to the swimbladder in eels and if present in American eels, may have an impact on their migration to the Sargasso Sea.

6/5/06: FEMRF Funds Two Proposals:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in Project Reviews with the Fisheries Advisory Committee, has approved the first two proposals for funding with the Fish Enhancement, Mitigation, and Research Fund. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has executed contracts with Ducks Unlimited and Environnement Illimite, Inc., to complete the projects.

Delaney Bay photo The contract with Ducks Unlimited is for an aquatic restoration project in Delaney Bay at Grindstone Island, in the St. Lawrence River. The purpose of the project is to increase spawning and rearing habitats for northern pike and muskellunge. These habitats were greatly impacted by installation of the Moses-Saunders Dam. The project will install a water control structure and fishway to enhance diversity of nearshore aquatic vegetation and benefit northern pike and muskellunge spawning and nursery habitats. The contract also includes 5 years of monitoring by SUNY-ESF to determine benefits to the target species.
The contract with the Canadian firm of Environnement Illimite, Inc., is for collecting lake sturgeon eggs. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will then take custody of the eggs for captive rearing and stocking of juveniles in the St. Lawrence River and its tributaries. Gravid adult female sturgeons are captured and held for 3-4 days, after they have been injected with hormones to enhance egg release. Several males are also captured to complete egg fertilization. All fish are returned to the St. Lawrence River unharmed, as this species may live to be 50-80 years old. Lake sturgeons are a New York state-listed species and a Service species of special concern. The habitats needed for lake sturgeon spawning and rearing were greatly impacted by the installation of the Moses-Saunders Dam. The purpose of this contract is to enhance recovery and contribute towards the ultimate delisting of the lake sturgeon by expanding viable populations in the St. Lawrence River and its tributaries. The contract with this expert Canadian firm will facilitate egg collection for 3 years.

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Last updated: October 30, 2014
All images by FWS unless otherwise noted.