Late September saw record heat, to the tune of four day at our above 90°. Environmentalist say, it most likely confused the Landlock Atlantic Salmon.
“River levels went way down, flows went way down. The water temperatures went way up. These salmon, just aren’t attracted to that sort of situation,” said Nicholas Staats.
Staats has been with U.S. Fish & Wildlife since 1993, studying the salmon. He tells us, during the heatwave, none of the salmon were moving up stream.
“They need to have the cooler weather to trigger them to move up stream,” said Staats.
But it seems Mother Nature is cooperating, despite a near 80°expected Sunday.
“Water temperatures have dropped by ten degrees, we have had a little bit of rain to bring the flows up a little bit. I am hoping the number of fish return start to increase,” said Staats.
Salmon face a mountain of challenges, known as the Winooski Dam. That is where people offer a helping hand. The damn was built with a fish passage, think of it as a fish elevator.
This is all apart of a collaboration with Burlington Electric, Green Mountain Power, and Vermont Fish & Wildlife.
“Trying to get them to naturally reproduce has always been a an important goal. That is what we are hoping to do here. At least on the Winooski River. For some portion of the salmon in Lake Champlain to come from naturally reproduced fish,” said Staats.