Last weekend, we were joined by Senator Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Dan Esty, NOAA Restoration Ecologist Jim Turek, State Senator Len Fasano, State Representative Mary Mushinsky, and Steve Gephard from CTDEEP to celebrate the completion of our Wallace Dam Fishway Project and dedicate it to former Wallingford resident Harry Haakonsen. This event was held in conjunction with Earth Day.
The event was kicked off by remarks from Wallingford Mayor William Dickinson followed by a few words from Don Strait, our executive director. Then Senator Blumenthal, Jim Turek, and State Senator Fasano spoke about the importance of the project locally, regionally, and for the Long Island Sound watershed as a whole.
Following Senator Fasano’s remarks, State Representative Mushinsky, who is also the science educator for the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association, ceremonially dedicated the fishway to Harry Haakonsen.
Harry Haakonsen was a professor at Southern Connecticut State University and performed research on the migratory behaviors of Atlantic salmon and the American lobster. Prior to his death in 1995, Dr. Haakonsen was chairman of the Long Island Sound Assembly, participated in the Connecticut State University Research Foundation and the Rene Dubos Center for Human Environments. He was also involved with the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association and the Wallingford Land Trust.
With the completion of the project, the new fishway opens up more than 17.3 miles of river and 171 acres of lake and pond habitat to migratory fish foraging and spawning. Save the Sound and project partners also installed software that will be used by CTDEEP to monitor fish passage through the fishway.
Following the formal celebration and dedication of the fishway, 50 volunteers spent some time planting vegetation to help rebuild the habitat where the new fishway was constructed.
Save the Sound received funds from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Restore America’s Estuaries, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to coordinate the installation of a fishway at Wallace Dam in the Quinnipiac River.
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Posted by Rebecca Kaplan, director of communications for CFE/Save the Sound