Atlantic Salmon returns are down this year

This year, as of June 21, 2012 some 48 Atlantic Salmon returned into the Connecticut River.  This compares with 108 in 2011, 50 in 2010, 76 in 2009, 140 in 2008, 137 in 2007 and 208 in 2006.   Other anadromous fish which returned into the Connecticut River this year were as follows:  222 American Eel, 249,420 American Shad, 138 Blueback Herring, 422 Gizzard Shad, 3 Shortnose Sturgeon (which were captured at the Holyoke Dam and returned downstream below the dam)  182 Striped Bass and 27,233 Sea Lamprey

While swimming upstream, 9 salmon took a left turn and returned to our Westfield River and that compares with 4, 2, 34, 21, and 34 for the previous respective years.  They were captured at the DSI dam in West Springfield.  Each year hundreds of thousands of salmon fry are released into the tributaries of the Westfield by volunteers and DFW staff.  Hundreds of them are also reared and raised by students from the Becket Elementary School and Taconic High School.  Who knows, maybe some of them made it back this year.

This year 9 salmon returned to the Leesville Dam in the Salmon River in CT and 15 returned to the Rainbow Dam in the Farmington River also in CT.  One angler caught an adult salmon in the Salmon River and it was retained at the Richard Cronin National Salmon Station and there was one adult salmon mortality in the Connecticut River in Old Lyme, CT.  These CT fish may have been hatched,  reared and released by the late LeRoy Thorpe and John Doelman lead volunteers/directors from Berkshire National Fish Hatchery.  Who is to say that they weren’t?   We’ll never know, but wouldn’t they be a wonderful legacy left for us by these fine gentlemen.

Continuing upriver, 72 salmon went on and were captured at the Holyoke Dam. One adult Atlantic salmon was captured at the Townsend Dam in VT and was retained for brood stock.

Other anadromous fish counts for the Westfield River this year were as follows:  5,025 shad, which compares with 3,449 last year, 1,391 in 2009, 3,293 in 2008 and 4,497 in 2007.  American Eels totaled 32 vs. 371 last year, 30, 213 and 131 respectively from previous years. *****

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