THE HOLYOKE FISH LIFT: 55 years of simply lifting fish–the only migratory fish passage success story on the main stem Connecticut River; CRASC public meetings in Turners Falls, MA: the Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Commission’s (CRASC) Technical Committee meets June 17, and the CRASC Board meets June 22–witness the officials and the politics steering decisions affecting your river.  They meet just twice a year.

The migration season on the Connecticut River is far too brief–and far too thin, these days.  It must be highlighted and enjoyed within a narrowing spring window.  For a perspective on the beauty, and the myths, and the half-truths that are eroding migratory fish runs upstream on the Connecticut River, visit: www.billdwightshow.com , “Jurassic Park on the Connecticut” from June 4, 2010.  This is a river system that is seeing its runs of federal trust fish wash away.  It suffers desperately from waste, dishonesty, a lack of common sense science, and a dearth of public information and agency oversight.

There are two public meetings of the Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Commission this month.  The CRASC Technical Committee meets on Thursday, June 17, 2010, at 10:00 a.m., at the USF&WS Conte Anadromous Fish Lab in Turners Falls, MA; and the full Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Commission meets on Tuesday, June 22, 2010, at 10:00, at the Silvio O. Conte Anadromous Fish Lab on Migratory Way in Turners Falls.

CRASC is the tiny collection of state and federal fisheries representatives that have been making decisions about Connecticut River fisheries science, spending, and public policy for decades.  Their accountability, advocacy, and credibility would benefit from members of the public and the media attending meetings.  CRASC oversight is supposed to serve as the river’s–and the public’s, protection from environmental damage by the power companies operating on the Connecticut.

Out of 24 positions on the CRASC Board and Tech Committee, not one is held by a woman.  There has not been a public representative on the CRASC Board in Massachusetts in nearly three years.  Sound fishy?  Help the river: pay them a visit.

For the birds: For a more generalist and aerial perspective on migration in the Deerfield River Valley, you might pick up the May/June 2010 issue of Bird Watcher’s Digest and read my, “Sitting Down with Nighthawks.”