Restore It and They Will Come: River Herring in the West River, Connecticut

New Haven, Connecticut

Endorsed by ACFHP in FY2013.

Through a partnership among the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, the New Haven Land Trust, and the Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound, this restoration project removed the Pond Lily Dam to reconnect lower reaches of the West River in New Haven to upstream habitat.

The Pond Lily Dam was a physical barrier limiting the recovery and sustainability of river herring on the West River, which is in the Long Island Sound watershed. The project opened up 2.6 miles of riverine bottom and 76 acres of spawning habitat (in Konold’s Pond), while increasing water velocities, decreasing water temperature – both of which improve oxygen levels. The more natural condition, better water quality, and enhanced riparian habitat benefit species such as river herring and American eel.


Text provided by the Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound. Photo credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service.