Tuesday, August 16, 2011

RI DEM Testing of the Lower Pawtuxet

On the evening of August 10th, Alan Libby from DEM's Fish & Wildlife Division, took his team of four for a trip up river from the Pawtuxet Falls dam to assess the prevalence and variety of fish currently in the river. For the 2 mile section that they examined, they found the following in order of abundance: white sucker, golden shiner, American eel, brown bullhead, pumpkinseed, common carp, yellow bullhead, bluegill, and largemouth bass. By far the most prevalent fish was the white sucker. All fish caught during the sampling appeared healthy according to the team, and are also found in other parts of the Pawtuxet system. No anadromous fish were found, however, including the herring and shad that are target species of this project.

Such testing of the lower Pawtuxet has not been done since the late 90s. With the work completed last week, we now have a baseline for evaluating the primary impact of the dam removal. DEM will continue to conduct annual assessments to measure the degree and rate of restoration of anadromous fish to this river. If resources permit, some stocking of the Lower Pawtuxet will take place to help accelerate the process.

1 comment:

margherita pryor said...

This is a great way to measure success against a metric that people actually care about! Let's make sure we're out there and counting the fish that come back next spring!