Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fishy Business

I mentioned I helped some fish move last weekend. Herring have been returning in greater numbers to spawn, particularly at the Upper Mystic Lake. A dam there makes it quite difficult to get from the Lower to Upper Mystic Lake.

The local paper reported efforts by an annual bucket brigade to lift the fish over the dam. Plans are under way to rebuild the dam with a herring ladder. For now a taxi service is necessary. Having read the article to my daughter, she got very excited about helping the fish and wanted to go out last weekend.

This first photo is one of the nets we were using to snag the herring.

There were quite a few people who showed up, in part due to the article in the newspaper.

Unfortunately, as one of the organizers mentioned in the article, predicting when the herring run to spawn is hit or miss. It's not like the fish have Memorial Day Weekend marked on their calendars to remind them to show up. Last year was a big hit with about 19,000 fish lifted. This year, not so much. My daughter and I did net one which made the trip worth while.

After our success, we gave way to others waiting for a turn with the nets. Here is a view from the dam.

Once the fish are caught, they are put in buckets of water. The buckets are hooked to lines and then hauled up by people on the dam who dump the fish into the Upper Mystic Lake on the other side of the dam. You can kind of see the lines hanging down here.

When we left, they had tallied all of 160 or so fish. A fun morning, despite the lack of herring.


Blogger Steve Buchheit said...

Now we need to get the fish to jump. Really high.

Or at least train fish to only come on weekends. Sure, they may not be able to recognize the traditional Memorial Day to Labor Day summer time, but surely we can get them on a seven day week.

May 31, 2008 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger L.A. Mitchell said...

What a great thing to be a part of. Looks kinda cold, too.

June 2, 2008 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Sounds fun! My kids would love to do something like that. Ah, if only we had We're getting there.

June 2, 2008 at 8:44 PM  
Blogger Todd Wheeler said...

Then again, Steve, once they're on our calendar, they'll be looking to cut it to a five-day work week, major holidays off, overtime ...

June 3, 2008 at 10:36 PM  
Blogger Todd Wheeler said...

LA & Cheryl,

It was fun. Usually I read something like that and think "gee, wouldn't it be fun ... " Sometimes it takes a kid's enthusiasm to get adults in gear.

June 3, 2008 at 10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


June 6, 2008 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger Derryl Murphy said...

Maybe so few fish because people have been using the herring to cut down trees.


June 6, 2008 at 8:58 PM  
Blogger Camille Alexa said...

Photos! I just put some photos up on Littlebird Blue, too!

July 6, 2008 at 3:26 AM  

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