12/23/10 Landowners and partners restore fish passage in Waddington, N.Y.
About 18 miles of stream in Little Sucker Brook in Waddington, N.Y., were recently opened for fish passage by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.
The Service removed a stone stream crossing and a small culvert meant for water passage. The culvert inhibited the migration of suckers, bullhead, walleye and other fish because of its size and location. The culvert was too high to allow flow at low water levels, and at high water levels, water rushed through too quickly for fish passage.
A contractor replaced the culvert with a bottomless arch and concrete foundation that simulate a natural stream bottom, ease water flow and fish passage, and enable the migration of fish.
The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry is studying and monitoring the area under the guidance of professor John Farrell. The landowners agreed to uphold and not disturb the restoration for 10 years and donated use of a skid steer.
This project was funded by the Fish Enhancement, Mitigation, and Research Fund (FEMRF), which was established as part of a settlement agreement with the New York Power Authority reached in the relicensing of the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project.
The Service manages the fund to benefit fish resources in the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River Basin and to continue research on the American eel and other species possibly affected by the power project. The Partners program works to achieve voluntary habitat restoration on private lands to benefit Federal Trust Species.
See our set of Flickr photos, or the stream below.
11/15/10 Hudson River Trustees Release Fact Sheet for Mink Field Study
The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees have released a Fact Sheet, dated November 2010, entitled, "Mink Injury Investigations for the Hudson River NRDA, 2010-2011." This fact sheet provides information on a proposed field investigation of Hudson River mink being conducted as part of the Hudson River NRDA.
Natural resources of the Hudson River have been contaminated through past and ongoing discharges of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees -- New York State, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of the Interior -- are working cooperatively to conduct a natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) to assess and restore those natural resources injured by PCBs. Many species of mammals, including mink, rely on the Hudson River and its floodplain for food and shelter. Previous studies have shown that PCBs can injure mink, reducing kit survival and causing jaw lesions, among other effects. Hudson River mink are exposed to elevated levels of PCBs. Mink collected by trappers in the vicinity of the river contain relatively high concentrations of PCBs in their bodies. The Trustees plan to assess mink occupancy in the Upper Hudson River and Mohawk River watersheds through the use of scent stations and digital cameras to document mink visitation.
Please visit the following website for a copy of the Fact Sheet: http://www.fws.gov/contaminants/restorationplans/HudsonRiver/index.html. Other documents for the Hudson River NRDA are also available at that web site.
10/14/10 Status-change proposal for Atlantic Sturgeon (Endangered Species):
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has proposed to list as threatened or endangered, three distinct population segments (DPS) of the Atlantic sturgeon in the Northeast Region. Threatened status is proposed for the Gulf of Maine DPS and endangered status is proposed for the New York Bight DPS and Chesapeake Bay DPS. You can access the proposed rule here: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-24459.pdf
NMFS has also simultaneously published a proposed rule to list two Atlantic sturgeon DPS (Carolina and South Atlantic) in the Southeast as endangered: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-24461.pdf
10/14/10 Landowners and partners restore Blind Bay fish habitat (Partners for Fish & Wildlife):
An excavator operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program reopens 3,000 feet of historic wetlands channels in St. Lawrence Valley, New York, in September. The Blind Bay Restoration Project, a collaboration between the Service and landowners, connects the channels to St. Lawrence River to help restore northern pike spawning and nursery habitat.
Read the News Release
9/22/10 Leedy's roseroot scientific name modified:
Sedum integrifolium ssp. leedyi has officially been renamed to Rhodiola integrifolia ssp. leedyi (=Sedum integrifolium ssp. l.)
9/3/10 2nd Listed Plant Rediscovered in NY! (Endangered Species)
Northeastern bulrush (Scirpus ancistrochaetus) was rediscovered in Steuben County this past week by Steve Young of the New York Natural Heritage Program during surveys funded through Section 6 grants.
8/11/10 Agreement helps eastern NY landowners protect butterfly habitat
An innovative program balances endangered species habitat protection and private land management to benefit Karner blue butterflies. Two New York state-protected butterflies - frosted elfin and Persius duskywing - may also benefit along with other species sharing the same habitat. The Safe Harbor program encourage private landowners to protect habitat by holding them responsible only for the amount of habitat available when they sign up for the program, regardless of the additional habitat resulting from the landowners' good management.
8/10/10 Hudson River Trustees Release Draft Study Plan for Mink Injury Determination for Public Review and Comment
The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees have released a Draft Study Plan for Mink Injury Determination, dated 2 August 2010, entitled, "Investigation of Mink Occupancy Relative to Polychlorinated Biphenyl Contamination within the Hudson River Drainage" for public review and comment. This Draft Study Plan is for an investigation to be conducted as part of the Hudson River Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA). The Executive Summary of the document follows. Please visit the following website for a copy of the Draft Study Plan: http://www.fws.gov/contaminants/restorationplans/HudsonRiver/index.html or click here for a local pdf.