New York DEC takes action to protect Salmon River fish populations

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NEW YORK (WWTI) — Following low water flows along the Salmon River the New York Department of Environmental Conservation is taking action in preparation for the upcoming salmon run.

According to the DEC, below-average summertime precipitation has led to declining water levels i the Salmon River Reservoir. As a result, new regulations and recommendations for the Great Lakes are in affect.

Increasing the base flow could cause Chinook salmon to prematurely enter the Salmon River on their spawning migration. This poses risks for the fish is temperature are high.

The DEC stated that under a federal license, the Salmon River has a seasonal baseflow increase on September 1. However, the Salmon River Reservoir is currently under the critical threshold required to increase baseflow.

The Executive Committee of the Salmon River Flow Management Team regulates annual reservoir water levels and canceled the scheduled whitewater releases over the Labor Day weekend.

Additionally, the DEC closed the Lower Fly Fishing Section to fishing on September 15. The section will remain closed until DEC collects sufficient numbers of salmon eggs at the hatchery.

According the to DEC, these actions will conserve reservoir water to maintain suitable flows throughout the salmon spawning run. Additionally, the popular Lower Fly Fishing Section will not open on September 15, and will remain closed until further notice.

“The Salmon River supports the largest fall runs of salmon and trout in New York, and is one of the state’s most heavily fished waters,” said Commissioner Seggos. “The actions announced today are necessary to ensure continued water flows to sustain the salmon run and fishery, and to enable spawning salmon to reach DEC’s Salmon River Hatchery and support ongoing stocking efforts.”

Commissioner Seggos also encouraged all anglers to be “SMART” when fishing this fall and following COVID-19 precautions.

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