The Darien Land Trust is half way through a four-year project to restore an ancient herring migration route up the Noroton River that was interrupted by the construction of I-95 in the 1950s.

Herring (in our case Alewives) are anadromous, living most of their lives in salt water but migrating back to spawn in the fresh water of their birth.

Working with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection’s Inland Fisheries

  • For the past three springs we have stocked our lake at Olson Woods with 400 pregnant herring. Their offspring will spend their lives in the Atlantic Ocean, but will return after three or four years to Olson Woods Lake in order to spawn.
  • To check for potential obstacles, we have walked every step of the two-mile stretch of the Noroton River from the I-95 culvert to the lake.
  • We have taken over 200 water-level readings at the culvert. This will allow engineers to determine what type of fish ladder will need to be constructed to allow the herring to swim upstream.

The fish should start returning in 2013 and we eagerly await the sight of one of nature’s phenomena as hundreds of herring return to Olson Woods Lake.

Thank you to all our members who help support these programs.