About Summit

A Flourishing Future for Forage Fish: Interventions to Support Abundant Fisheries and Thriving Ecosystems
Forage fish like Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) are critical to overall ecosystem health—that fact is beyond debate. Yet, in Long Island Sound and the rivers that flow into it, these fish have encountered incredible challenges as a result of human activity over the past several centuries. Overfishing, dam construction, water pollution, and the disruption or destruction of in-stream habitat have all wreaked havoc on populations of Alewife and other forage fish. In this session, we will explore multiple interventions that are reversing this trend by highlighting the work of Save the Sound, the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP), Trout Unliimited (TU), The Waterkeeper Alliance, Long Island Soundkeeper, and others.

These organizations have come together to directly engage each of the challenges facing the ability of these fisheries to thrive. The Save the Sound Soundkeeper is working diligently to fight pollution in Long Island Sound and its rivers, and bringing a front-line perspective to bear on the legislative process by lobbying for bills to protect and sustainably manage the Sound's fisheries. Save the Sound, TU, Riverkeeper, and CT DEEP are working separately and/or collaboratively on an expanding slate of dam removal and fishway installation projects to restore migratory routes for Alewife, Shad, American Eel, and other species to reach their required habitat during various stages of the life cycle. In Connecticut, CT DEEP is leading stocking efforts and working with Save the Sound and others on monitoring efforts in several watersheds to track the impact of these fish passage projects on returning populations.

Together, these efforts are yielding encouraging results, and this year's fish run has already recorded high numbers where runs are well-established and increasing numbers where access was recently restored. However, in order for these solutions to take root, more robust and resilient environmental consciousness and networks of champions are needed. Trout Unlimited chapters across the country have been approaching this through engaging and innovative in-stream restoration projects This session will break down some of these results and shine a light on the collaborations that are securing a flourishing future for forage fish.
Coastal Ecological Restoration – General