New York Power Authority
Constructs Habitat Projects For Walleye and Lake Sturgeon
315-764-0226, ext. 304
November 5, 2007
WADDINGTON—The New York Power Authority (NYPA)
recently completed work on two Habitat Improvement Projects (HIPs)
designed to enhance spawning opportunities for walleye and lake
sturgeon in the St. Lawrence River.
“This work will help restore the walleye and
sturgeon population to the St. Lawrence River as part of the Power
Authority’s commitment to protect the environment,” said Roger B.
Kelley, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “These habitat
enhancements for native fish species, just like the renovations to
local recreation areas such as Waddington Town Beach, contribute to
the growing legacy of benefits for the North Country from the
relicensing of NYPA’s St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power
As part of the federal license issued in 2003, NYPA
committed $9 million to create and maintain a total of 10 HIPs to
benefit a variety of birds, mammals, fish and plants native to the
North Country. The walleye and lake sturgeon projects are the
latest HIPs to be constructed.
In October, NYPA awarded a $99,850 contract to
Perras Excavating Inc., of Massena, to enhance an existing spawning
area for walleye on Brandy Brook, a tributary of the lower St.
Lawrence River in Waddington. A layer of cobbles and rocks was
placed upstream and downstream of the existing spawning area to
provide additional substrate to encourage walleye reproduction.
The St. Lawrence River Walleye Association has
expressed support for the project.
“We are very interested in the protection and
addition of the walleye habitat. With the current influx of round
gobies, cormorants and many other invasive species, we believe the
Brandy Brook project plays an essential part to keep the St.
Lawrence River thriving,” said Michael Gagner, St. Lawrence Walleye
NYPA awarded J.E. Sheehan Contracting Corp., of
Potsdam, a $440,000 contract this past September for installation of
lake sturgeon spawning beds, intended to create conditions and
substrate similar to natural spawning areas. Lake sturgeon is
listed as a threatened species in New York State.
Two lake sturgeon spawning beds have been installed
at locations downstream and upstream of the Iroquois Dam, which is
part of the St. Lawrence-FDR project. The beds, which consist of
large gravel, are approximately 10,000 square feet in size and
one-foot thick. They should create new spawning opportunities for
lake sturgeon in a region of the St. Lawrence River where there is
currently thought to be little spawning.
Before construction, NYPA biologists examined
several locations along the river to determine the best place for
the spawning beds. A spawning bed is an area of a stream, lake or
river where fish deposit their eggs. NYPA will monitor the newly
constructed spawning beds in the spring to evaluate the
effectiveness of the project.
While construction of the two lake sturgeon beds is
complete, the project, if successful, is subject to expansion with
the Power Authority agreeing to install up to four additional beds
in the St. Lawrence River.
Work has been done on eight of the 10 HIPs,
including the walleye and lake sturgeon projects. NYPA is
maintaining and monitoring the HIPs. The remaining two HIPs are in
Photo and Caption
■ NYPA uses no tax money or
state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of
bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of
electricity. ■ NYPA is a leader in promoting
energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric
transportation initiatives. ■ It is the
nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating
facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400
circuit-miles of transmission lines.
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