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Save The River Reports on Week 9 of Beach Watch

September 3rd, 2015 | Posted by Lindsey

(August 31, 2015) – Save The River’s Beach Watch Program is in the process of monitoring popular summer swimming locations on the River from July 6th through August 31st. Save The River reports all samples passed in Week 9.

For the 2015 sampling season Save The River volunteers are collecting water quality samples at six swimming areas along the River: Wilson Beach in Cape Vincent, Potter’s Beach on Grindstone Island, Frink Dock in Clayton, Round Island in Clayton, Lake of the Isles on Wellesley Island, and Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay. Save The River’s unique program provides a glimpse of the water quality at popular swimming areas during the peak recreational swimming season. Sampling dates for this year are July 6, July 13, July 20, July 27, August 3, August 10, August 17, August 24, and August 31.

As in previous years, Save The River will be testing for e. coli bacteria in all of our swimming locations and will compare water quality results with state and federal regulations. Save The River The results will be made available to the public each week with a pass/ fail system that is available at the Save the River offices, website and by following Save The River on Facebook and Twitter. Results will also be posted on www.swimguide.org and in the T.I. Sun. For more information please contact the Save The River office at (315)-686-2010 or visit www.savetheriver.org.

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You’re Invited!

September 2nd, 2015 | Posted by Lindsey

Save The River and Clarkson University present Wild & Scenic Film Festival

POTSDAM – Save The River and Clarkson University are hosting the Wild & Scenic Film Festival at the Clarkson University Student Center from 3-5 p.m. Sept. 12.

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival is considered one of the nation’s premiere environmental and adventure film festivals. This year’s films combine stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography and first-rate story-telling to inform, inspire and ignite solutions and possibilities to restore the earth and human communities while creating a positive future for the next generation.

The films chosen for showing at Clarkson focus on the impact water has on people all over the world and the importance of preserving and protecting clean water for future generations. This year’s selections will take audiences to some of the most remote and beautiful places on the planet, and instill a deep appreciation and a sense of wonder for the natural world that surrounds and supports us.

The event is open to the public and free of charge. Along with the films there will be a club and local non-profit fair with many local outing, conservation and environmental groups showcasing their work. Event sponsors Save The River and Clarkson University hope to engage, inspire and entertain a wide range of attendees, from high school students looking for possible courses of study in environmental science or technology fields to college student and adults looking for ways to participate in local organizations and make a difference in the River region.

Riverkeeper and Save The River Executive Director Lee Willbanks said, “We are blessed to have one of the world’s most significant waterbodies, the St. Lawrence River right here, and have a number or premier colleges, universities, Clarkson among them, nearby. Partnering with Clarkson we hope to raise awareness of the need for fresh water and healthy waterbodies and the need to be vigilant in protecting them. We hope these films and this event inspire greater awareness about opportunities to be involved in local conservation efforts.”

Save The River is a member-based organization representing over 6,000 individuals, followers and supporters who live, work and play along the St. Lawrence River. It works to keep the River swimmable, fishable and drinkable through advocacy, education and research.

Clarkson University is an independent, nationally recognized technological university whose faculty of teacher-scholars aspires to offer superior instruction and engage in high-quality research and scholarship in engineering, business, science, health, and liberal arts.

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival is sponsored by Potsdam Collegiate Village and Northern Lights Energy Inc. and funded in part by the Northern New York Community Foundation Youth Philanthropy Council. The generous support from members and sponsors makes Save The River’s advocacy, education and outreach work on the Upper St. Lawrence River possible. To learn more, please visit www.savetheriver.org.

For further information, please contact Lindsey Leve at Lindsey@savetheriver.org.

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Save The River Annual Meeting Held New Board Members and Officers Elected

September 2nd, 2015 | Posted by Lee

Published by the Daily Courier-Observer on September 2, 2015

Clayton, NY– Thursday, August 27th, Save The River held its Annual Membership meeting.  Among the items acted on was the election of three new Directors who add to the national, geographic, professional and demographic diversity of the now eighteen-member Board of Directors.

“It is great to have Karen Douglass Cooper, Jessica Jock, and Cicely Johnston, each of whom come from previously under-represented regions of the St. Lawrence River, join our Board,” stated Lee Willbanks, Riverkeeper and Save The River Executive Director. “In addition to broadening our geographic scope to now include all of the Upper St. Lawrence, 2 of the 3 are Canadian, these women bring new personal and professional experience to our efforts to protect and preserve this magnificent River.” Jeff Garnsey, newly elected President of the Board added, “I believe we are entering one of the most important and exciting periods in Save The River’s history. We now have a broader base on both sides of our River than ever before. I am excited to be a part of it.”

Ann Ward, Board Member Emerita, stated “for years we’ve tried to increase the number of Canadian members on our Board to more closely match the truly international nature of our work on the River. This is an excellent start.”

K CooperKaren Douglass Cooper, who for the last seven years has worked exclusively on projects dealing with fresh water protection throughout the upper St. Lawrence River Watershed Region, said “to share in the international scope of protection and conservation work being undertaken by Save The River is both an honour and a privilege. I am very much looking forward to serving with this wonderful team.” Ms. Cooper is the Communications / Community Outreach Officer for the St. Lawrence Institute of Environment Sciences and Coordinator for the Remedial Action Plan for the St. Lawrence River Area of Concern (AOC) in Cornwall, Ontario. She has also worked on fresh water protection and public education with South Nation Conservation Authority, the Dundas Environmental Awareness Group and the Raisin ‐ South Nation Drinking Water Source Protection Program.

J Jock

Jessica Jock is a self-professed life‐time river lover. As an Environmental Scientist for the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Environment Division in Akwesasne, she has worked 13 years on various River projects related to Superfund cleanups, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Ms. Jock, stated, “I’m honored to have been nominated by my peers, and to have received the support of the membership. I look forward to serving the mission of Save The River and enthusiastically accept the role to promote good river stewardship for the River communities.” She has presented at local, state, and national conferences on River health, served on committees, and collaborated with many resource agencies and non‐profit organizations. She has volunteered and served on the St. Lawrence River Walleye Association, Inc. and Northern TRIBS Swimming, Inc. board of directors.

C JohnstonCicely Johnston was born and raised in the Thousand Islands and is the 5th generation in her family‐owned business, Ed Huck Marine of Rockport, Ontario. According to Ms. Johnston, “I started working at the marina quite young and quickly found I shared a passion for the River with other River Rats, whether they were locals, cottagers or boaters. This connection taught me the importance of a clean, sustainable River not only for recreation but commerce as well.” Ms. Johnston is a fundraiser for Queen’s University, holds a certificate in Professional Fundraising from Boston University, and is co‐chair of a Queen’s University Senate Committee, and a board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, South Eastern Ontario Chapter.

In other business conducted at the meeting, members heard from Executive Director Willbanks about some of the many initiatives, partnerships and accomplishments of Save The River in the preceding year. But he did point out that amid the positives, Plan 2014, the new and much needed water levels plan for the River has not yet been approved, legislation banning microbeads from personal care products is still in limbo in New York and there is still a threat of shipments of Bakken and tar sands crude oil on the River. Willbanks noted, “there are still real and significant threats to the health of the River and the communities that depend on it. Save The River remains the voice for the environment, the communities and all those who share the use of the River. We have to stay vigilant and maintain our ability to be that strong voice.”

In addition to the three new Board members, current Directors Jeff Garnsey, John McGrath, Steve Taylor, and Lauran Throop were re-elected for another three-year term. Elected as officers for the coming year were: Jeff Garnsey, President; Lauran Throop, Vice President; Fred Morey, Treasurer; John Peach, Secretary; and Jack Butts, Member-At-Large. The Directors also approved an amendment to the not-for-profit’s bylaws establishing term limits for Board members, limiting all Directors to no more than two, three year terms.

More information about Save The River’s programs and work to protect the Upper St. Lawrence River can be found at www.savetheriver.org.

Jessica Jock Cicely Johnston Karen Cooper

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Catch and release: Use care and common sense

September 1st, 2015 | Posted by Lindsey
Great read from the Oneida Daily Dispatch:
Catch and release: Use care and common sense
“Two things, however, must be kept in mind when fishing: It does not do any good to release the fish if you are careless and do not handle the fish carefully. Secondly, this is a guideline and should not be a dogmatic, black and white issue either way.
It is more important to practice this where the fish population is pressured, numbers are limited and much of the population comes from natural propagation. Save The River​, a conservation-based organization on the St. Lawrence River, is stressing limiting the number of smallmouth bass that you keep while fishing. Numbers of smallmouth bass have declined sharply in recent years due to several factors, mainly the presence of the predatory round gobies which raid the nests.”
http://www.oneidadispatch.com/sports/20150812/outdoors-catch-and-release-use-care-and-common-sense

Published by Oneida Daily Dispatch on August 12, 2015

The famous fly fisherman and star of the TV show “American Sportsman” Lee Wulff popularized the saying that a great game fish was too valuable to only catch once. Lee Wulff’s fishing adventures often stressed catch and release and demonstrated how to properly do it. But Wulff was not rigid or dogmatic about the idea. He would say that it was also proper to keep a few fish to eat. Moderation and common sense should be the angler’s guidelines.

In a recent column we discussed the idea that catch and release often a good thing, especially in areas of high fishing pressure or for species that are naturally propagated instead of raised in a hatchery. That column focused more on the methods of safe handling and care for fish so they can be released successfully.

One thing worth repeating is that it is usually better to release the fish while it is still in the water whenever possible. This is especially true when dealing with large fish like northern pike. Mike Seymour is a guide on the St. Lawrence River who guides clients for muskies, bass and pike. Often his clients will hook a nice-sized pike and bring it alongside the boat. The angler smiles and asks Captain Mike Seymour how much he thinks it weighs. Mike nods and says “well right now it is a 10 pounder. But if we bring it into the boat it will weigh 7 pounds.” The angler grins and says OK, while Mike deftly uses his pliers to unhook the pike and watch it swim away.

As a guide and a sportsman, Mike Seymour quietly stresses the importance of the practice of catch and release. Throughout the season Mike or his son regularly catch big muskies and quickly photograph and release them. This has been an ethic stressed for many years by most muskie fisherman. These elusive and mysterious fish have increased in both size and number in the St. Lawrence in recent years due to this common practice.

Two things, however, must be kept in mind when fishing: It does not do any good to release the fish if you are careless and do not handle the fish carefully. Secondly, this is a guideline and should not be a dogmatic, black and white issue either way.

It is more important to practice this where the fish population is pressured, numbers are limited and much of the population comes from natural propagation. Save the River, a conservation-based organization on the St. Lawrence River, is stressing limiting the number of smallmouth bass that you keep while fishing. Numbers of smallmouth bass have declined sharply in recent years due to several factors, mainly the presence of the predatory round gobies which raid the nests.

But if there are large numbers, or many of that species come from hatchery stock, that is a different situation. You should not feel guilty or be ostracized if you keep some fish for the frying pan. As long as you do it – like most things – in moderation the resource will not be harmed.

Very few people believe in catch and release for walleye. One factor is that walleye are good tasting and that is the reason people fish for them. It certainly is not the excitement of fighting them. Walleye are also stocked by the DEC so the majority of the population comes from this stock.

Of course king and Coho salmon are going to die after spawning so there is no reason to feel guilty. Some people release them so they can continue fishing and others may have the chance to catch the same fish. But the great taste of salmon and the numbers of stocked fish means most will naturally end up on the grill.

When releasing fish with care you should minimize the time out of the water. Using barbless hooks and using pliers makes it easier to release a fish. Wet your hands to minimize removing protective slime when you have to handle fish. Take some quick photos and carefully put it back in the water, or put it in the live well to be photographed later.

If you do have to net a large fish like a muskie to unhook it, place a wet towel over its eyes to keep it from thrashing about the boat. Do not lift it vertically since this unnatural position can put great stress on its organs.

Grabbing a bass by the lower lip can immobilize it, but do not try to force it into a horizontal position using this grip. If you need to take a horizontal photo, use your other hand to support the fish underneath. Pike can be immobilized by firmly gripping the fish over the gill plates or using a “spreader.” Never grab any fish through the gills.

Lifting a trout up under its belly seems to temporarily relax or immobilize them. Again a quick photo, or even one in the shallow water will provide memories or proof of your catch to your friends.

When I was a youngster I practiced a lot of catch and release even before it was popular. Part of the reason was that I wanted to insure lots of fish to catch later and part of the reason was that I was too lazy to clean many fish. We always had a rule to keep any big brown trout. Part of it was the desire to show off a trophy, and part of it was the fact that big browns are cannibals and clean out a pool by eating all the small trout. Today some fishing clubs or leases have similar rules.

Keep in mind that you are fishing to enjoy the experience and if you catch some fish the experience is even more rewarding. If you are going to keep some fish for the grill, just consider the circumstances and do it in moderation.

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Week 6 Catch & Release Photo Contest Winners!

September 1st, 2015 | Posted by Lindsey

We are pleased to announce this week’s photo contest winners. We had many photos submitted to us by people practicing catch & release fishing and hope that this continues throughout the season.

First Place Winner: Jack
Second Place Winner: Jim
Third Place Winner: Jeff

Thank you to everyone who submitted photos this week. This contest is open to everyone practicing catch and release fishing and you are welcome to submit as many photos as you would like.

Photos can be submitted directly to Save The River’s Catch and Release Facebook page or via email to lindsey@savetheriver.org.

By submitting photos you consent to their use by Save The River.

Week 6 Winners

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Merchandise Sale Through Labor Day!

August 31st, 2015 | Posted by Lindsey

All Save The River merchandise is 10% off and Save The River Members will receive an extra 10% off.

2014 Catch & Release Shirts, 2014 Run for the River Shirts, and 2015 Run for the River Shirts on sale for $10+tax.

Stop in and pick up shirts, hoodies and more for you and your family.
We are open 9am-5pm, 7 days a week.

We also ship orders. Visit http://ow.ly/RmmUF to view available items online and call 315-686-2010 to place your order today.

Merch 2015 Collage

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Tell Rep. Elise Stefanik “Thanks!” for her visit to Save The River & continued strong support for Plan 2014.

August 28th, 2015 | Posted by Lee

Please take a moment to call Congresswoman Elise Stefanik’s office to say “Thanks!” Let her know that as a member, supporter or follower of Save The River you appreciate her visiting with us, her concern about the health of the St. Lawrence River and, especially now, her support of Plan 2014.

Jefferson and St. Lawrence County District office number:  (315) 782-3150
Washington, D.C. office number:  (202) 225-4611
-or- Send her an email (click here):

As part of her visits to many communities along the St. Lawrence River. Congresswoman Stefanik came to the Save The River office Wednesday to talk about Plan 2014, aquatic invasive species, microbeads and the threat of oil shipments on the River (among many other topics). It was an excellent first conversation. We came away very impressed with her grasp of the issues and her engagement in trying to find solutions that work for the benefit of all who share the use and enjoyment of the River.

We were particularly pleased with her continued strong support for Plan 2014, based as it is on a complete understanding of the problems the old water levels plan has caused and her commitment to be a strong advocate for adoption and implementation of the new plan soon.

Based on the discussion, we look forward to working with her on this and other River issues.

Your call or email of thanks to her office will let her know the River community appreciates and supports her efforts.

Coverage of her visit:
from the Watertown Daily Times
from TWC News Central/Northern NY

Stefanik Collage

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Congresswoman Elise Stefanik​ visits Save The River: Reaffirms her strong support for Plan 2014.

August 27th, 2015 | Posted by Lee
Congresswoman Rep. Elise Stefanik​ visits Save The River: Reaffirms her strong support for Plan 2014.
As part of her visits to many communities along the St. Lawrence River. Congresswoman Stefanik came to the office to talk about Plan 2014, aquatic invasive species, microbeads and the threat of oil shipments on the River. We came away very impressed with her grasp of the issues and her engagement in trying to find solutions that work for the benefit of all who share the use and enjoyment of the River.
We were particularly pleased with her continued strong support for Plan 2014, based as it is on a complete understanding of the problems the old water levels plan has caused and commitment to be a strong advocate for adoption and implementation of the new plan soon.
In addition to Plan 2014 the Congresswoman raised other issues of concern to the River community such as threats from invasive species and microbeads. Based on the discussion, we look forward to working with her on these and other River issues.
View coverage from the Watertown Daily Times:
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/stefanik-talks-plan-2014-with-save-the-river-in-clayton-tours-cape-vincent-patrol-boat-manufacturer-20150827
View coverage from TWC News Central/Northern NY:
http://www.twcnews.com/nys/watertown/news/2015/08/26/support-grows-for-plan-2014-to-help-protect-st–lawrence-river.html

As part of her visits to many communities along the St. Lawrence River. Congresswoman Stefanik came to the office to talk about Plan 2014, aquatic invasive species, microbeads and the threat of oil shipments on the River. We came away very impressed with her grasp of the issues and her engagement in trying to find solutions that work for the benefit of all who share the use and enjoyment of the River.

We were particularly pleased with her continued strong support for Plan 2014, based as it is on a complete understanding of the problems the old water levels plan has caused and commitment to be a strong advocate for adoption and implementation of the new plan soon.

In addition to Plan 2014 the Congresswoman raised other issues of concern to the River community such as threats from invasive species and microbeads. Based on the discussion, we look forward to working with her on these and other River issues.

View coverage from the Watertown Daily Times

View coverage from TWC News Central/Northern NY

Stefanik Collage

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Save The River Reports on Week 8 of Beach Watch

August 27th, 2015 | Posted by Lindsey

(August 24, 2015) – Save The River’s Beach Watch Program is in the process of monitoring popular summer swimming locations on the River from July 6th through August 31st. Save The River reports all samples passed in Week 8.

For the 2015 sampling season Save The River volunteers are collecting water quality samples at six swimming areas along the River: Wilson Beach in Cape Vincent, Potter’s Beach on Grindstone Island, Frink Dock in Clayton, Round Island in Clayton, Lake of the Isles on Wellesley Island, and Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay. Save The River’s unique program provides a glimpse of the water quality at popular swimming areas during the peak recreational swimming season. Sampling dates for this year are July 6, July 13, July 20, July 27, August 3, August 10, August 17, August 24, and August 31.

As in previous years, Save The River will be testing for e. coli bacteria in all of our swimming locations and will compare water quality results with state and federal regulations. Save The River The results will be made available to the public each week with a pass/ fail system that is available at the Save the River offices, website and by following Save The River on Facebook and Twitter. Results will also be posted on www.swimguide.org and in the T.I. Sun. For more information please contact the Save The River office at (315)-686-2010 or visit www.savetheriver.org.

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Wild & Scenic Film Festival at Clarkson University

August 25th, 2015 | Posted by Lindsey
About The Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Considered one of the nation’s premiere
environmental and adventure film festivals, this year’s films combine stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography and first-rate story-telling to inform, inspire and ignite solutions and possibilities to
restore the earth and human communities while
creating a positive future for the next generation.
This year’s selections will take audiences to some of the most remote and beautiful places on the planet, and instill a deep appreciation and a sense of wonder for the natural world that surrounds and supports us.

Save The River & Clarkson University Present the Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Saturday, September 12, 2015

3-5pm

Clarkson University Student Union

About The Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Considered one of the nation’s premiere environmental and adventure film festivals, this year’s films combine stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography and first-rate story-telling to inform, inspire and ignite solutions and possibilities to restore the earth and human communities while creating a positive future for the next generation.

This year’s selections will take audiences to some of the most remote and beautiful places on the planet, and instill a deep appreciation and a sense of wonder for the natural world that surrounds and supports us.

Poster for Social Media

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Clayton, NY 13624

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e: info@savetheriver.org

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