Volunteer to help Masswildlife atock salmon fry

Volunteers from high schools, sporting clubs, civic groups, colleges, and other people with a passion for rivers, fish, or fishing are needed to assist the MassWildlife personnel in stocking approximately 750,000 salmon fry (juvenile fish) as part of the Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon restoration program. According to Dr. Caleb Slater, DFW’s Anadromous Fish Project Leader, stocking begins the week of April 9 and continues through early May to release salmon fry into dozens of Connecticut River tributaries. The fry will come from MassWildlife's Roger Reed Hatchery in Palmer.Fry will be trucked to meeting sites where volunteers will gather and caravan to release sites. The tiny fish will then be moved from truck to water by bucket using volunteer man- and womanpower. The fry stocking Schedule and details on meeting locations are posted at fwww.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/fisheries/anadromous/salmon_fry_stocking.htm.

Dr. Slater offers some tips for potential volunteers: “You may get wet! A change of clothes is a good idea. You will be walking in slippery stream and river beds, so waders or other waterproof footgear is useful. There are a few waders to loan, but please bring your own if you have them.” Volunteers should be in good physical condition as they will be climbing up and down steep stream banks and hauling 5-gallon buckets with water. MassWildlife aids anadromous (migratory) fish in a number of ways: stocking fry in tributaries of the Connecticut River; monitoring fish passage at dams on the Connecticut, Westfield, and Merrimack Rivers; trapping salmon and shad for transport to hatcheries and/or upstream release locations; working with federal agencies to ensure safe upstream and downstream fish passage at hydroelectric dams; and working with local watershed groups to improve freshwater habitat for fish. For more information, click on the above link or contact Dr. Slater at (508) 389-6331.

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