Folks in Connecticut got an early Christmas gift. One
that will provide the continuing gift of hours of recreational
time and the gift of fish.
Trout Unlimited gets a tip of the
FAOL hat for it's involvement, quoting from a TU
announcement, "In partnership with Trout Unlimited
and other partners, the Connecticut Department of
Environmental Protection has unveiled an unprecedented
plan to restore the Naugatuck River in Connecticut.
The $4-5 million plan, to be completed over the next
two years, will involve the removal of five dams and
construction of fish and boat passage facilities at two
others, restoring 32 miles of free flowing river for sea-run
trout, American shad, alewives and herring for the first
time since 1800."
To oversee the process, Naugatuck Valley
native Jon M. Ploski has been appointed as the first-ever full-time
"River Steward" for the Naugatuck. Ploski, a watershed reclamation
specialist and former fishing guide, will serve as environmental
watchdog for the river and will oversee watershed restoration
efforts for Trout Unlimited. In an unusual partnership, the River
Steward will be funded through a three-year grant from the Leever
Foundation and MacDermid, Inc., operators of a major industrial
facility on the river.
This is a wonderful example of all
parts of the system working together. One we hope other
regions will use as a model to solve similiar problems.
Still on the east coast of North
America, The Atlantic Salmon Federation presented its
annual International Award to David Anderson, Canada's
Minister of Fisheriers and Oceans.
Since Mr. Anderson took over the
Fisheries and Oceans position in 1997, he has made very
progressive decisions in conservation and management
of fisheries. He has often stated that his primary
responsibility is to the FISH! The same
statement by the head of Fisheries for the State of Washington
cost Bernie Shanks his job. It is quite obvious our neighbors
to the north have greatly surpassed the intelligence of the
Fisheries Department in Washington.
Results of Mr. Anderson's decisions
are already substantial. In May of this year Minister
Anderson, in partnership with the Province of Quebec
announced a buy-out plan for the commercial salmon
licenses on Quebec's North Shore.
Add to that, Mr. Anderson announced
a moratorium on the Labrador commercial fishery. That
decision closed Canada's last mixed-population commercial
Atlantic Salmon fishery. In turn, the decision inspired the
members of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation
Organization (NASCO) to unanimously agree to close
Greenland's commercial salmon fishery, and restrict Greenland's
quota to a maximum on 20 metric tons - to be used for
internal comsumption ONLY!
Keep in mind, the previous year, 1997
the Greenlanders killed 63 metric tons of Atlantic Salmon.
These closures should save an extra 50,000, mostly large
female spawners, from ocean gill nets and allow them to return
to their natal rivers to spawn.
Great news. For you Canadians, tip
your hat to Minister Anderson too. You have something to
be proud of. He can make a difference. He has already
made a difference!
These truely are gifts. Ones that will
improve the fishery. And maybe the best news is someone
out there is getting it right! It takes all of us, supporting the
right actions, yelling when the actions are wrong, to make
Fish first? Absolutely!
~ Deanna Birkholm