PRESS RELEASE: May 21 – Celebrate World Fish Migration Day Along the Farmington River

Enjoy time outdoors, and learn about the rivers near you through a fish’s point of view.

World Fish Migration Day: The Migration Celebration

Tuesday, May 21 | 3 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Northwest Park Nature Center, 145 Lang Road, Windsor, CT 06095

New Haven – The Nature Conservancy of Connecticut, Save the Sound, and the rest of the Long Island Sound River Restoration Network are inviting the public to celebrate World Fish Migration Day with a guided river walk, outdoor activities, and a special documentary film premiere—and a look at how local rivers affect us all.

“World Fish Migration Day: The Migration Celebration” is set for May 21 from 3-7:30 p.m. at the Northwest Park Nature Center, 145 Lang Road, Windsor, near the Farmington River. The event is free and open to the public; guests are asked to register in advance. A virtual option for the film screening and panel discussion will also be offered.

“The Long Island Sound region spanning Connecticut is a gateway to hundreds of miles of critical freshwater habitat across New England,” says Emily Hadzopulos, freshwater restoration manager for TNC’s Connecticut chapter. “That’s why this is such an important place to celebrate World Fish Migration Day and advocate for free-flowing rivers so that our migratory fish friends can live, breed, and thrive.” 

The event will be packed with diverse, educational activities about fish, waterways that link to Long Island Sound, and the barriers that impact them. 

The afternoon will start with a three-mile, round-trip guided walk along the nearby Farmington River. An outdoor meet-and-greet with community groups will follow under the park’s pavilion. Refreshments and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream will be served. 

The evening will end with the screening of “Reconnected: Restoring the Rivers of Long Island Sound,” which highlights the challenges presented by dams and the benefits free-flowing rivers have on nature as well as entire communities. The film shows how efforts directed toward one river can affect so many others.

World Fish Migration Day is an international movement dedicated to raising awareness of migratory fish and the roles they play in riverine and marine ecosystems.

Their populations support the larger ecosystem, serving as key food sources for other fish, birds, and mammals, but barriers, such as dams and misaligned or undersized culverts, can disrupt their travel and a river’s flow. While these man-made structures were once built to provide hydropower or recreational ponds, many of them no longer serve a purpose and are now in fragile condition. 

“Most dams and culverts are at best overlooked and ignored—but they pose a constant obstacle for fish and wildlife, and are a growing threat to the safety and resilience of our communities,” says Anthony Allen, director of restoration strategy at Save the Sound. 

“Restoring migratory fish populations in the Farmington River is a top priority in Connecticut, due to the river’s proximity to Long Island Sound, its size, and its pristine habitat,” added Aimee Petras, executive director at the Farmington River Watershed Association. 

Guests will have the opportunity to learn about local migratory fish, the history and future of the Farmington River, and the work that the Long Island Sound River Restoration Network does to remove barriers to fish passage.

“We look forward to seeing everyone who lives in and loves the Long Island Sound region to join us for this event, as we celebrate how free-flowing rivers enable a healthier, safer, and more resilient environment for all,” says Hadzopulos.

The event is being supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic.

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