Letter: Protecting the fish
Who will protect and save the few remaining endangered shortnose sturgeons in our river from extinction? These fish, as well as federal trust shad and others are being killed in great numbers when they attempt to spawn in miserable conditions created by the 2-mile stretch of river below Turners Falls Dam, by FirstLight-GDF-Suez, located next to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife’s Great Falls Discovery Center, (also eerily quiet on this crucial issue) located next door.
FirstLight destroys migratory fish by: chopping and dicing them; in their turbines; with giant switching pumps, day and night; and by dumping sludge directly into the water. The best success FirstLight has had is one-in-10 fish emerging from the power canal during migration. That is failure.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is moving towards attempting re-licensing of GFD-Suez FirstLight Power’s Northfield Mountain and Turners Falls Power Canal Projects on the Connecticut River. FirstLight is trying for two new operating licenses in order to use our river to make electricity for the next FOUR decades. They are in hopes that their studies achieve their aim: to continue funneling migrating fish into their canal rather than allow the fish to use the river bed adjacent to their canal. According to independent environmentalists, the best answer is to either cease operation during migration, or allow the fish to migrate through the river adjacent to the canal. In addition, the National Marine Fisheries Service needs to be held more accountable. They are responsible for protecting the endangered shortnose sturgeon and enforce the $200,000 per fish fine for killing each endangered fish. They win by big profits, we lose our voice, river and fish. Speak up before your fish are gone forever. For more, see: Drew Hutchison GCTV (Nov. 2), and Karlmeyerblog.com