The International Year of the Salmon is an initiative to stimulate outreach and research that aspires to establish the conditions necessary to ensure the resilience of salmon and people throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The initiative is spearheaded by the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission and the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization.
The LCBP is proud to be working with a number of partners to celebrate the International Year of the Salmon in the Lake Champlain Basin in 2019 and beyond.
In 2016 and 2017, naturally reproduced salmon fry were found in the Boquet River in New York and the Winooski River in Vermont for the first time in 150 years. These recent successes in the effort to restore landlocked Atlantic salmon in the Lake Champlain Basin are the result of collaboration by many partners. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state agencies, universities, and other members of the Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative have been working to restore land-locked Atlantic salmon in Lake Champlain since the early 1970s. Anglers, educators, activists, and policy makers also have worked to bring this native species back to Lake Champlain. In March 2019, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Fish Biologist Dr. William Ardren was awarded the prestigious Rachel Carson Award for Exemplary Scientific Accomplishment for his work coordinating restoration efforts in the Basin.
The LCBP and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service developed a series of seven traveling exhibits that interpret for viewers the life cycle and history of landlocked Atlantic salmon in the Lake Champlain Basin, and the threats it is facing. One set of these exhibits traveled with the replica canal schooner Lois McClure on its 2019 voyage on Lake Champlain and up the Richelieu River.
View the salmon exhibits →
This Bringing Back Salmon video series chronicles Atlantic salmon restoration efforts in the Lake Champlain Basin. Part 1 describes the community role in removing the Willsboro Dam on the Boquet River in New York. Part 2 focuses on the science of restoration. Part 3 presents the mutual benefits of salmon restoration and water quality improvement and the part citizens can play in protecting habitat. The series was a collaborative effort between the LCBP and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
As part of the International Year of the Salmon, Lois McClure toured Lake Champlain to share the history, ecology, and conservation story of Atlantic salmon in the Lake. Visitors experienced stories of environmental change, human impacts, and the feats of ingenuity and cooperation underway to bring Salmo salar back after an absence of more than 150 years.
The IYS celebration peaked with the Lake Champlain Salmon Festival in Richmond, VT in October. Organized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the LCBP/CVNHP, the day-long celebration included a lecture on salmon restoration, screenings of short films, and exhibit booths stocked with information provided by a variety of watershed partners. Participants immersed themselves in the effort on a guided paddle on the Winooski River and fly-casting lessons. The day was capped off when a group of delighted children (and adults) released fall fingerlings into the Huntington River.
History in the making
by USFWS writer Bridget MacDonald
A 2017 series of articles by USFWS writer Bridget MacDonald follows the salmon’s journey upstream to spawn and documents the efforts to restore the species in Lake Champlain. Read more →
Anglers, who best know the waters of Lake Champlain and its tributaries, provide important data that help scientists who are working to restore salmon. Read more →
The LCBP Diving In video series includes this look at the Salmon in the Classroom program in Westport and Willsboro, NY. With support from New York State DEC and Trout Unlimited, students raised salmon from eggs and released them into local streams.