Sunday 24 October 2021
Watch the salmon race
The warm October slowed down the fall salmon run a bit, but the fact that there is no salmon run in the rivers that flow from the Adirondacks into Lake Champlain is a point of celebration. The dams that fueled the industry, the resulting pollution from that industry and overfishing destroyed the Atlantic salmon fishery in Lake Champlain before the Civil War.
Salmon have been stocked in Lake Champlain, but establishing their natural breeding patterns in the tributaries of the lake has been more problematic for a variety of reasons, the most important of which have been the dams that block salmon from gravel beds in upstream where they like to spawn. But the Boquet River has shown promise, following the removal of an old sawmill dam six years ago.
At the end of the month, there will be an opportunity for those who want to help restore Atlantic salmon to their natural habitat. On Friday October 29 and Saturday and October 30, a team of volunteers will meet on Loukes Road to plant 650 willows to help stabilize the banks.
The site is located a few kilometers upstream from Wadhams on the southern arm of Le Boquet where a natural waterfall prevents fish from going further. But erosion from those sandy banks can wash downstream and cover the spawning grounds with silt gravel, said Rich Redman of Trout Unlimited. The trees also help keep the water cool for cold water fish like trout and salmon.
Those interested in helping can call Redman at 518-546-3378 or email him at [emailÂ protected], or call Alice Halloran of the Soil and Water Conservation District at 518-962-8225 for more information.
Editor’s Note: This first appeared in the Adirondack Explorer’s weekly Water Line newsletter. Click here to join.