Photography by J. Mita Studios

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Out and About with CT. DEP - Salmon Stocking

Today I had the pleasure of photographing Bruce Williams of CT. DEP as a group of volunteers and workers headed for Granby to stock new Atlantic Salmon.  The program has been going on for many years, and the restoration of Atlantic salmon to our rivers has had some success.  Today, after canceling twice, the group was able to finally head to the east branch of Salmon Brook in North Granby, CT.  So I donned my waders to join the group.  Some important instructions include disinfecting your waders before you enter a water way to prevent the spread of bacteria and other agents that you may have picked up from another water way. 

We met at the commuter lot on Rt. 189 next to the 1st United Congregational Church in North Granby, CT.  In the above photo, Bruce is plotting the day, which started at 10 a.m. and would probably go on until 3 p.m. 

In all the blue boxes are the young salmon, called fry.

As we headed up North Granby Rd., we traveled for perhaps a couple miles when we came to the first actual place the stocking was going to occur, near Christenson's Pond.  Jack from Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, CT was going to help in this area. 

I think Jack is the one facing us.  The other two are Bruce and I believe a fellow by the name of Jeremy.

The second stop was where Jan, a volunteer from the area, and myself, headed to the river to begin our search for rocky areas without much sand, and where the current wouldn't wash the little tiny fish away.

First order of business was to fill the buckets with  the young fry,

There was a small trail that lead to the very rocky, shallow Salmon Brook.

                                                     Bruce gives Jan some last minute instructions.

                                                             THE RIVER
                              Jan enters the river.

We began our 1/3 mile trek upstream.  The river had some very strong currents, and sometimes the rocks could be very slippery.  The total time we were walking was perhaps 1/2 hour, but it was definitely very difficult trudging through the water.  I did take a few spills, but saved my camera.  Within the alotted area, Jan had to find about 20 different likely habitats that the fry could dash under rocks and have a good start to their wild life. 

Jan lets out some of the fry into their new home. 


We neared the end of our journey, and I got
up close to see the baby salmon swimming
about, looking for some rocks to huddle
One seemed to be having trouble.
It was a good thing, because I was able to
capture the fry in its search for a nice shelter.
Most of the time they dash so quick you
just can't see them. 

We were picked up by one of the other volunteers, and I decided to try one more location before heading home.  This time I went with Mindy, who is a dep worker.  We stopped at a popular spot for anglers and once again, headed for the rushing waters. 

                          Mindy lets out some of the fry.  It is a
                            great habitat, very shallow with lots of
                                 rocky places for them to live.

The river and Mindy.

In September I hope to join Bruce and his crew again to check on the progress of the young salmon.  Stay tuned.  It should be an interesting time, as today was.  I had a wonderful time, met some great people, and climbed out of my comfort level by actually going into the river with waders and a camera.  I would recommend it to anybody looking to volunteer for a good cause and wants to really commune with nature.

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