Hatching a plan to save salmon

We all need our vitamins… Even salmon.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region

dsc03436 Assistant hatchery manager Scott Frost explains the research behind these trays of larval salmon at the White River National Fish Hatchery.  Photo: Bridget Macdonald/FWS

“You have to step on this footpad to come in and out of this area,” cautioned Scott Frost as we crossed into a roped-off section of the White River National Fish Hatchery. “It has a disinfectant to make sure we don’t drag any contaminants in on our boots.”

Once our boots were clean, Frost, who is the assistant hatchery manager, led me over a row of rectangular structures and rolled up a black curtain to reveal racks of trays alternately labelled with plus and minus signs. Each tray contained hundreds of recently hatched larval salmon.

“These eggs were spawned from wild fish caught migrating from the lake to spawn in Hatchery Brook last fall,” he said. “We incubate the eggs until they get to the ‘eyed’ stage…

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Driven by instincts and a pickup truck: An Atlantic salmon’s journey towards recovery — U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region

Reblogged from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Blog….

That’s how many Atlantic salmon make their way to spawning habitat in Lake Champlain’s tributaries nowadays. Learn why this species disappeared from the lake in the 19th century, and how it is making a comeback today thanks to collaboration by partners in the basin.

via Driven by instincts and a pickup truck: An Atlantic salmon’s journey towards recovery — U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region

Virginia rivers opened for the first time in 100 years!

Damn fine work here helping with native fish restoration.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region

Colonial leaders got it right for fish … and people too.

As far back as 1670, Virginia prohibited structures like dams that would hinder fish migrating up and down our rivers. Why? They recognized their future depended on the millions of delicious migratory fish swimming our coastal rivers. Fish biologist Albert Spells will tell you that feasting on Atlantic sturgeon saved the first permanent English colony in America at Jamestown.

1-albert-spells-with-an-atlantic-sturgeon-caught-on-the-chesapeake-bay Albert Spells with an Atlantic sturgeon caught on the Chesapeake Bay. Credit:USFWS

Flash forward to the 1900s, and the rivers paint a different picture. The growing cities and towns have built hundreds of dams and road culverts blocking fish from their spawning grounds. Commercial fishing has expanded rapidly to feed the region and the world. Fish numbers drop, and keep dropping.

Where does that put us today? Well much has changed on the Chesapeake Bay and the rivers that flow to…

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