The Connecticut River Ecological Study (1965-1973) Revisited: Ecology of the Lower Connecticut River 1973-2003


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Paul M. Jacobson, Douglas A. Dixon, William C. Leggett, Barton C. Marcy, Jr., and Ronald R. Massengill, editors

545 pages

Published by American Fisheries Society, 2004


Monograph 9

This book contains the original Connecticut River Ecological Study: Impacts of a Nuclear Power Station, American Fisheries Society Monograph 1 (1976), updated with a compilation of retrospective papers targeting key contemporary ecological and regulatory issues in relation to the issues investigated and predictions made in the early 1970s.

This effort was initiated in late 2001 when EPRI sponsored a 2-day workshop at the University of Connecticut Marine Sciences Institute to revisit the original Connecticut River Ecological Study. Its purpose was to reexamine the results of the original study in the context of EPA’s ongoing efforts to promulgate Clean Water Act Section 316(b) standards and regulations. The Connecticut River Study is particularly relevant in this regard as it was one of the first large-scale, comprehensive studies to assess the ecological impact of a steam electric power plant (Connecticut Yankee in this case) that utilizes once-through cooling and is located on a major tidal river.

Workshop presentations were made by many of the original Connecticut River Ecological Study participants, including William Leggett, Barton Marcy, Ron Massengill, and Paul Jacobson. These presenters were joined by representatives of EPRI, industry’s Utility Water Act Group, Connecticut-DEP personnel, and researchers from local universities. Collectively, presenters reviewed existing river conditions against the predictions of the original Ecological Study. As a result of the workshop, it was determined that the Connecticut River Ecological Study, as a case history, provides a unique opportunity to evaluate assessment tools and current conditions as a result of several decades of water quality and fisheries assessment improvement efforts. Table of Contents

Preface Charles C. Coutant

Original Preface Daniel Merriman and Lyle M. Thope

Connecticut River Ecological Study–Revisited: Participant Acknowledgments

Peer Reviewer Acknowledgments

Symbols and Abbreviations

Part I: Original Ecological Study

Introduction Daniel Merriman and Lyle M. Thorpe

Hydrography William A. Boyd

Oxygen Balance in the Condenser-Cooling Water System of the Connecticut Yankee Plant Paul M. Jacobson

Benthic Fauna: 1965-1967 versus 1968-1972 Ronald R. Massengill

Entrainment of Zooplankton at the Connecticut Yankee Plant Ronald R. Massengill

Fishes of the Lower Connecticut River and the Effects of the Connecticut Yankee Plant Barton C. Marcy, Jr.

Planktonic Fish Eggs and Larvae of the Lower Connecticut River and the Effects of the Connecticut Yankee Plant, Including Entrainment Barton C. Marcy, Jr.

Early Life History Studies of American Shad in the Lower Connecticut River and the Effects of the Connecticut Yankee Plant Barton C. Marcy, Jr.

The American Shad, with Special Reference to Its Migration and Population Dynamics in the Connecticut River William C. Leggett

Recurrent Mass Mortalities of the Blueback Herring in the Lower Connecticut River Sanford A. Moss, William C. Leggett, and William A. Boyd

Summary and Conclusions Daniel Merriman and Lyle M. Thorpe

Part II: The Connecticut River Ecological Study Revisited

Introduction: Connecticut River Watershed Management–Past, Present, and Future Paul M. Jacobson, Charles G. Fredette, and Nels Barrett

Summary of Water Quality Trends in the Connecticut River, 1968-1998 John R. Mullaney

An Overview of the Program to Restore Atlantic Salmon and Other Diadromous Fishes to the Connecticut River with Notes on the Current Status of these Species in the River Stephen Gephard and James McMenemy

Trends in Abundance, Distribution, and Growth of Freshwater Fishes from the Connecticut River in Connecticut (1988-2002) Robert P. Jacobs, William A. Hyatt, Neal T. Hagstrom, Eileen B. O’Donnell, Eric Schluntz, Penelope Howell, and David R. Molmar

Population Estimate and Utilization of the Lower Connecticut River by Shortnose Sturgeon Thomas F. Savoy

Food Habits of Shortnose Sturgeon Collected in the Lower Connecticut River from 2000 to 2002 Thomas F. Savoy and Jacqueline Benway

Factors Affecting the Recent Decline of Blueback Herring and American Shad in the Connecticut River Thomas F. Savoy and Victor A. Crecco

Stock Assessment of White Perch in the Lower Connecticut River Penelope Howell and David Molnar

The Impact of Enhancement Initiatives on the Structure and Dynamics of the Connecticut River Population of American Shad William C. Leggett, Thomas F. Savoy, and Christine A. Tomichek

American Shad Early Life History and Recruitment in the Connecticut River: A 40-Year Summary Thomas F. Savoy, Victor A. Crecco, and Barton C. Marcy, Jr.

Effect of Connecticut Yankee Power Plant on Population Dynamics of Asiatic Clams and Their Interactions with Native Bivalves Douglas E. Morgan, Milan Keser, John T. Swenarton, and James F. Foertch

Comparison of Benthic Community Structure in the Lower Connecticut River before, during, and after Operation of the Connecticut Yankee Power Plant Ronald R. Massengill, Joseph M. Vozarik, Douglas E. Morgan, and Milan Keser

Twenty Years of Impingement History: Connecticut Yankee Haddam Neck Nuclear Power Plant Paul M. Jacobson, Christine Tomichek, and Donald J. Danila

Developments in Fishery Science with Special Reference to Power Plant Impact Assessment Methods and the Connecticut River Ecological Study: 1973-Present Saul B. Saila and Ernesto Lorda

Feasibility of Applying a Watershed Model to the Connecticut River for Total Maximum Daily Load Analysis and Watershed Planning Carl W. Chen, Robert A. Goldstein, and Joel Herr

Modeling the Hydraulic Zone of Influence of Connecticut Yankee Nuclear Power Plant’s Cooling Water Intake Structure John Richardson and Douglas A. Dixon

Summary and Conclusions Paul M. Jacobson, William C. Leggett, Barton C. Marcy, Jr., and Ronald R. Massengill

Appendix I: Lower Connecticut River Fish Species List

Appendix II: Connecticut River Ecological Study Bibliography: Related Papers by the Original (1965-1973) Principle Investigators