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Merrimack River Atlantic Salmon Restoration Effort Winds Down, Shad Now Targeted

 CONCORD — A hopeful era drew to a close on September 5, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that, facing federal budget cuts and stubbornly low annual returns of sea-run Atlantic salmon, it will end its investment in the more than 30-year-long Atlantic salmon restoration in the Merrimack River watershed.

Things had looked promising as recently as 2011, when more than 400 Atlantic salmon made their way to the Essex Dam Fish Lift in Lawrence, Mass. But in 2012, just 137 sea-run salmon returned, and this year, as of July 10, 2013, only 22 returning salmon had been observed.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ended its Atlantic salmon restoration in the Connecticut River in 2012. In both the Connecticut and Merrimack rivers, salmon returns have been limited because of poor ocean survival, in-river habitat degradation, and dams that impede migration.

"We would prefer to continue the program, but the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department cannot take on the costs associated with a salmon hatchery operation," said Glenn Normandeau, Executive Director of the N.H. Fish and Game Department. He noted that the US Fish and Wildlife Service will continue to focus on restoration of Atlantic salmon in the Saco and other Gulf of Maine rivers, the last remaining wild Atlantic salmon in the country.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has worked cooperatively with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, National Marine Fisheries Service, and the U.S. Forest Service to raise and stock Atlantic salmon for the Merrimack River at two hatcheries: Nashua National Fish Hatchery in New Hampshire, and North Attleboro National Fish Hatchery in Massachusetts.

"This was a hard decision, but the science tells us that there is little chance that we will successfully restore Atlantic salmon to the Merrimack," said Wendi Weber, the Service's Northeast Regional Director. "While the science is driving our decision, our declining budgets hastened it. We need to prioritize. With the lack of success, we need to shift our scarce resources to priority restoration efforts where we can make a difference."

The Merrimack River Policy Committee and the Service will look to the Merrimack River Technical Committee to develop a plan for what happens next, including plans for stocking the last of the Merrimack salmon remaining at the two hatcheries, and options for continued Atlantic salmon monitoring in the river.

Though the Atlantic salmon program is winding down, work on other anadromous fish species, those that migrate between fresh and salt waters, will continue in New Hampshire. "We're going to continue work to improve habitat and upstream fish passage for migratory fish species such as American eels, shad and river herring, and these efforts will improve conditions for any migrating Atlantic salmon that may return to the Merrimack after all these years of stocking," said Normandeau.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has already begun to shift resources toward higher priority restoration efforts, such as American shad. Both Nashua and North Attleboro National Fish Hatcheries raise shad that are stocked in rivers from New Hampshire to Rhode Island.

"Shad numbers are up considerably and offer some real potential for angling success going forward," said Normandeau. As of July 10, more than 37,000 shad had passed the Essex Dam Fish Lift and headed up the Merrimack River.


Last Updated on Friday, 20 September 2013 10:55

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Streetcar Company working on 'Wait Until Dark' for Nov. performances

LACONIA — The cast and crew of The Streetcar Company's upcoming presentation of Frederick Knott's Wait Until Dark are hard at work preparing for the show's November opening. The suspense-thriller, familiar to most from the 1967 movie starring Audrey Hepburn, will be presented at Laconia High School Friday through Sunday, November 1st to the 3rd.

After well attended auditions in August, director Rick Morten has assembled a cast of veterans and newcomers that include Nerrishia Bodwell as Suzy Hendrix, Rodney Martell as Mike Salman, Rick Kincaid as Sgt. Carlino, Brendan Berube as Harry Roat Jr., Ray Feola as Sam Hendrix and Sophia Joyal as Gloria.

Producer Jenn Schillinger is working with the production staff to fine tune the behind the scenes arrangements that help pull the show together. Some of those heading up the various positions include Frank Stetson, assistant director/stage manager, Peter Ayer, organizing props, Erin Fitzmaurice, house manager and Nerrishia Bodwell, costumes.

There is still help needed in several capacities and anyone interested in helping is encouraged to contact the producer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Last Updated on Friday, 20 September 2013 10:51

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Interlakes Theatre Sponsors 'Where's Solomon' Contest

MEREDITH — Your favorite childhood search game is back and with a twist in the Interlakes Theatre's "Where's Solomon?" contest.

Solomon Kee is a Meredith favorite and will be returning as Sammy Davis, Jr. in his one-man show, "I'm Just Here to Make the World Taste Good", October 5-6.

The Interlakes Theatre is moving a cardboard cutout of Solomon around Meredith and surrounding towns.

"He will be in a new location every day until October 3 ", says Interlakes Summer Theatre Producer, Nancy Barry. "For hints on where to find Solomon, go to our Facebook page (Interlakes Theatre), or call the box office for your hint at 1-888-245-6374. When you find him, call the box office. We will be tracking your calls. The person who accumulates the most Solomon sightings will be invited to brunch with Solomon Kee and Nancy Barry on Sunday October 6.

Tickets are still available for the shows on October 5 at 7:30 p.m. and October 6 at 3 p.m. All tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling the box office phone at 1-888-245-6374 or online at www.interlakestheatre.com



Where's Solomon? (Courtesy photo)

Last Updated on Friday, 20 September 2013 10:43

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Saxophone quartet playing in Wolfeboro

WOLFEBORO — The acclaimed saxophone foursome, Capitol Quartet, will bring their concert music, both jazz and classical, to Wolfeboro Friends of Music second concert of the 2013-14 season on Saturday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will be held at Village Players Theatre, 52 Glendon Street, Wolfeboro.

Heralded for their "musical versatility and innovative style," the Capitol Quartet consists of Christopher Creviston, soprano saxophone; Joseph Lulloff, alto saxophone; David Stambler, tenor saxophone; and Andrew Dahlke, baritone saxophone. Since its formation in 1991 the quartet has earned accolades as masters in both ensemble and solo performance. They have appeared with such prestigious orchestras as the Baltimore Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, Indianapolis Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Windsor [Ontario] Symphony Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa.

In August 2013 Joe Lulloff took a saxophone part in the Chicago Symphony (Ravinia) performance of Ravel's "Bolero." Stambler has just released his CD titled "Newbach Rock."  Dahlke can be heard playing clarinet and saxophone on dozens of nationally broadcast radio and television commercials. Creviston performs on either alto or soprano sax, in duo with pianist Gruber-Creviston, first at Carnegie Hall in 2007, now in the U.S. and abroad.

Singly, the quartet members hold faculty positions at prestigious music schools in Arizona, Michigan, Colorado, and Pennsylvania and are dedicated to mentoring their students in the multi-faceted performance possibilities of the saxophone. As the Capitol Quartet they are equally dedicated to advancing music education, regularly performing, lecturing and offering master classes at National and State Music Educators conferences and universities across the United States.

Tickets are available for $20 at the door, at Black's Paper Store, Avery Insurance in Wolfeboro, at Innisfree Bookshop in Meredith, or by calling (603) 569-2151. High school students with ID will be admitted free of charge. A child accompanied by an adult ticket purchaser will be admitted free of charge. For more information visit www.wfriendsofmusic.org.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 September 2013 10:40

Hits: 134

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