January 6th, 2017 | Posted by Lee
Check out the trailer for “What Lies Below” & you will definitely want to meet Lawrence Gunther, a great advocate for sustainable fishing. We are honored to have Lawrence share his experience, knowledge & wit at our Winter Conference.
Lawrence is North America’s only blind professional angler & champion of fish conservation. Drawing on his experience as a commercial fisher for Cod on Canada’s east coast, & as a competitive angler in over 125 fishing tournaments, he now focuses his energy on empowering others to become stewards of their waters & fish resources.
Prior to founding “Blue Fish Canada”, a charity dedicated to the future of fish & fishing, Lawrence earned a Masters in Environmental Studies that included conducting research throughout Canada’s Arctic & Scandinavia. His articles on sustainable fishing can be found in numerous outdoor publications, & his “Blue Fish Radio” podcasts (where he interviewed our Riverkeeper) are heard by over 100,000 listeners each week.
The documentary “What Lies Below” follows Lawrence & his guide dog as they explore ten fish habitat and sustainability stories throughout Canada. As host, Lawrence travels throughout Canada to speak with people who live by & from the water. What he learns is that there are a lot of people who feel strongly about the long term sustainability of their fishing resources.
So join us, your friends – old & new at Clayton’s 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel to celebrate and learn about the River we love.
Schedule: Saturday, February 4, 2017
9:30am – Registration and morning coffee
10:00 am – 4:00pm Presentations
4:00 pm – Cocktail Reception with cash bar
Additional details and updates will be posted here & on our Facebook events page
Conference fee: $50 (includes coffee, lunch, & cocktail reception with light hors d’oeuvres)
RSVP no later than Friday, January 27, 2017 to Save The River using the form found here or by calling us at (315) 686-2010.
We’ll see you there!
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April 22nd, 2016 | Posted by Lee
It’s Earth Day and our River, the St. Lawrence River, one of North America’s most important, is also one of its Most Endangered Rivers.
This is wrong! It shouldn’t be! And, it doesn’t have to be!
With the stroke of a pen, the U.S. and Canada can enact Plan 2014, a modern water levels management plan, that will begin the restoration of 64,000 acres of wetlands, rebuild the now decimated populations of native species like Northern Pike, Terns, Muskrat and others, and provide for increased recreational opportunities to the 4th largest river in North America.
You can help make this happen.
Go to plan2014now.savetheriver.org, watch the video, then fill in your information. Once you’ve finished, share the link will all your friends and ask them to join you in demanding action.
With your help we will show Secretary of State Kerry and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dion the tremendous support the River community has for returning the River to health.
Thank you for your support in this effort. And, please contact us if you have any questions at all.
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April 15th, 2016 | Posted by Lee
from Thousand Island Life, August, 2016:
U.S. and Canadian governments poised to remove St Lawrence River from list of endangered rivers with a simple the stroke of a pen.
On April 12th the national advocacy organization, American Rivers, named the St. Lawrence River one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®, shining a national spotlight on the threat outdated dam operations pose to imperiled fish, wildlife and local communities.
The designation is significant for everyone who cares about the environment and the Thousand Islands.
Environmental considerations were not part of the planning process, when the Moses-Saunders Hydropower Dam, and shipping channel,were built in the 1950s. As a result, outdated dam operations have caused significant losses to the Upper St. Lawrence River’s globally-significant biodiversity and habitat. Impacts include a loss of wetland habitat and a decline in many fish species and nesting water birds.
Read the full article, watch the stunning video, then take action along with hundreds others who love the St. Lawrence River like we do. Click here.
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March 9th, 2016 | Posted by admin
Originally published in the Watertown Daily Times on March 9, 2016.
“We, the undersigned, would like to call your readers’ attention to a recent proposed change in state fishing regulations and the unique policy opportunity it provides. The Department of Environmental Conservation suggested changes to the fishing regulations that would reduce the daily limit of northern pike from five to three on the St. Lawrence River.
The reason for this change?…damaging water-level regulations that have been in place for more than 50 years and have yet to be updated.”
Click here to read the full letter.
View NYSDEC’s proposed fishing regulation changes.
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December 31st, 2015 | Posted by Lee
Excellent series by Dan Egan in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first published July 26, 2014.
On the day the last ship has left and the Seaway locks are closed just briefly to the outside world it’s a good time to look at one of the most significant and ongoing impacts international shipping has had on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
The whole series is worth the time to understand the nature of the invasion, the invaders and what might be next.
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August 21st, 2015 | Posted by admin
Published by the Watertown Daily Times on Monday August 17th, 2015
WATERTOWN – The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) wants input from the public in the development of fish community objectives for the St. Lawrence River, Region 6 Director Judy Drabicki announced..
Responsibility for fisheries management in the river is shared by DEC and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF). DEC will hold two public meetings in August to solicit recommendations from the public on what the future St. Lawrence River fishery should provide.
“DEC is committed to sound management of St. Lawrence River fisheries, to maintain high-quality angling opportunities and associated economic benefits,” Drabicki said. “In light of dramatic and rapid changes to the St. Lawrence River ecosystem, it is prudent that we work with the public to chart the course for the future of this very important resource.”
The public meetings will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the following locations:
• Aug. 25 at Clayton Recreation Park (Arena), Clayton.
• Aug. 27 at St. Lawrence Valley Sportsmen’s Club, 38 Sport Club Road, Ogdensburg.
Anyone with an interest in the St. Lawrence River is encouraged to participate in this process. Biologists from DEC and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry will present information at the beginning of each meeting, and participants will have an opportunity to ask questions on any information presented. Participants will then be asked to complete a survey including questions that will assist DEC and OMNRF in determining people’s concerns and what they would like to see in the St. Lawrence River fishery. The meeting will include an open forum where people can address issues that were not covered in the presentations and questionnaire.
For those interested in familiarizing themselves about St. Lawrence River fisheries prior to the meetings, please visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7969.html. Information found at this site includes “1999 Fish Community Objectives for the St. Lawrence River,” “2015 St. Lawrence River Fisheries Update,” and a variety of St. Lawrence River reports within the “Lake Ontario Fisheries Unit Reports.”
For further information contact Steven LaPan, New York Great Lakes Fisheries Section Head at the Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station, (315) 654-2147.
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December 19th, 2014 | Posted by Lee
This summer Save The River added smallmouth bass to our longstanding Catch and Release program.
Since 1987 we have promoted catch and release fishing for Muskellunge, a species threatened on the St. Lawrence River, saving over 1,000 of these iconic fish. The addition of bass to Save The River’s Catch and Release Program is a continuation of our efforts to improve the overall health of the St. Lawrence River and to ensure a healthy, sustainable fishery.
We are adding lessons on catch and release to current In The Schools and On The Water programs for K-12 students. Students will learn about the different types of fish in the River, what impacts have been made on bass populations and how to properly practice catch and release techniques.
Catch yes, but eat fresh and release the rest.
Click here to go to the full update.
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June 10th, 2014 | Posted by admin
Save The River has added Smallmouth Bass to their longstanding Catch and Release program on the St. Lawrence River. Since 1987 Save The River has promoted catch and release fishing for Muskellunge, a species threatened on the St. Lawrence River. The addition of bass to Save The Rivers Catch and Release Program is a continuation of our efforts to improve the overall health of the St.Lawrence River and to ensure a healthy,sustainable fishery.
Catch and release fishing has become a globally accepted practice as a way to ensure plentiful game fish populations. Save The River believes bass population in the St. Lawrence River will benefit greatly if anglers keep only what they will eat that day and release the rest. Practicing catch and release fishing during bass season will help make certain there will be bass for our children and their children to enjoy. After all a bass is too valuable to only be caught once.
Catch yes, but eat fresh, and release the rest.
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April 15th, 2014 | Posted by Lee
Save The River announced today that Lindsey Leve has joined the staff as its Outreach Coordinator to promote their growing educational and advocacy programs.
Lindsey brings extensive experience and background promoting programs and events for various not-for-profit organizations. She was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona and received her Bachelors degree in Chemistry from the University of Arizona. She has spent every summer in the Thousand Islands on the River with her family and is very familiar with the area. Currently she is a summer resident of Wintergreen Island and a winter resident of Fishers Landing.
Executive Director Lee Willbanks said, We are extremely pleased to have Lindsey join the staff. She will be using her knowledge and enthusiasm for the River community to promote Save The Rivers Catch and Release programs and volunteer outreach. The timing couldnt be better as we are finally seeing the ice leave and everyone is getting ready to be on the water.
Im thrilled to be a part of an organization that has played such an important part in protecting the River. And Im really looking forward to being in at the beginning as the Catch and Release program expands from Muskies to Bass and other species, stated Ms. Leve.
In 2013 Save The River began the effort to expand it’s successful Muskellunge Catch and Release program to include bass as part of the continuing effort to improve the quality of the St. Lawrence River fishery and to ensure a healthy, sustainable aquatic and economic resource.
Since 1987 more than 1,000 muskies have been caught and released. In addition to muskies, the Thousand Islands section of the River has traditionally supported one of the best bass fisheries in New York State. Historically, this fishery has been a major factor in the growth of tourism on the River. However, today the River environment is far different from what early tourists experienced 100 years ago.
Catch and release fishing has become a globally accepted and duplicated practice to ensure plentiful game fish populations. Releasing a greater proportion of bass caught by anglers is one approach that can be used to reduce the mortality of adult fish and allow more bass to survive. The bass population in the River will benefit if anglers restrict their take of fish to only that which they will consume that day while releasing the rest.
Save The River believes a successful catch and release program, with significant numbers of anglers participating, will result in a more sustainable and larger number of adult bass in the River. Improving the quality of the River’s fisheries is good economic and tourism policy as well as an appropriate fishery management strategy.
After all according to Lindsey, a bass is too valuable to catch only once.
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March 31st, 2014 | Posted by Lee
Save The River joined thousands of citizens and hundreds of organizations in urging the Army Corps to move forward with the work necessary to physically separate the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River as the only viable alternative to stop Bighead and Silver carp from entering the Great Lakes and eventually the St. Lawrence River.
The letter, the full text of which can be read here, states, “Although obvious, it bears stating that if water does not flow between the Mississippi River and Great Lakes / St. Lawrence River watersheds, aquatic plants, animals and diseases will not be able to migrate actively or passively between them.”
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