Wallace Dam Fishway Project Complete

Last weekend, we were joined by Senator Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Dan Esty, NOAA Restoration Ecologist Jim Turek, State Senator Len Fasano, State Representative Mary Mushinsky, and Steve Gephard from CTDEEP to celebrate the completion of our Wallace Dam Fishway Project and dedicate it to former Wallingford resident Harry Haakonsen. This event was held in conjunction with Earth Day.

Project partners and elected officials before the celebration and dedication event

The event was kicked off by remarks from Wallingford Mayor William Dickinson followed by a few words from Don Strait, our executive director. Then Senator Blumenthal, Jim Turek, and State Senator Fasano spoke about the importance of the project locally, regionally, and for the Long Island Sound watershed as a whole.

Senator Richard Blumenthal speaking
State Senator Fasano speaking to the crowd

Following Senator Fasano’s remarks, State Representative Mushinsky, who is also the science educator for the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association, ceremonially dedicated the fishway to Harry Haakonsen.

State Representative Mushinsky ceremonially dedicates the new fishway to Harry Haakonsen

Harry Haakonsen was a professor at Southern Connecticut State University and performed research on the migratory behaviors of Atlantic salmon and the American lobster. Prior to his death in 1995, Dr. Haakonsen was chairman of the Long Island Sound Assembly, participated in the Connecticut State University Research Foundation and the Rene Dubos Center for Human Environments. He was also involved with the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association and the Wallingford Land Trust.

With the completion of the project, the new fishway opens up more than 17.3 miles of river and 171 acres of lake and pond habitat to migratory fish foraging and spawning. Save the Sound and project partners also installed software that will be used by CTDEEP to monitor fish passage through the fishway.

View of the new fishway at Wallace Dam
Photo credit: Leah Schmalz
Close up of the fishway and Wallace Dam

Following the formal celebration and dedication of the fishway, 50 volunteers spent some time planting vegetation to help rebuild the habitat where the new fishway was constructed.

Volunteers pitching in at the planting
Planting shrubs along the fishway
Digging holes for plants

Save the Sound received funds from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Restore America’s Estuaries, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to coordinate the installation of a fishway at Wallace Dam in the Quinnipiac River.

To find out more about similar volunteer events, visit our web site or contact Kierran Broatch at kbroatch@savethesound.org.

Posted by Rebecca Kaplan, director of communications for CFE/Save the Sound

3 thoughts on “Wallace Dam Fishway Project Complete

  1. I am Knut Sparre, the husband of Harry Haakonsen’s cousin Liv Haga. Harry’s father was Liv’s uncle. In 19551 she visited the US and got to know the Haakonse family. This visit was unforgettable for Liv.
    She has just been operated upon. Her left hip jont has been replaced by an arificial joint. The operation was a success. She is now recovering in a resting home, and at this very moment Liv’s brother Haakon and his wife are visiting Liv there. As soon as I get a chance, I shall tell her about the completion of the Wallace Dam Fishway Project which was dedicated to her cousin Harry.
    And thank you for sending me the info just at this moment …

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