Warwick Beacon Online - Warwick, RI
Trainings for Buckeye Brook fish count to be held Thursday
Mar 25, 2008

In an effort to get the community involved in taking care of the environment that surrounds it, training sessions will be held this week on how to measure the fish population of a river.

Steve Insana, president and founder of the Buckeye Brook Coalition, said it’s vitally important to perform fish counts of Buckeye Brook because the book’s herring run has seen a drastic decline in recent years.

“There was a spike in 2002 and we had a good run, but then in 2003 there was a very deep decline in the herring, the worst we’ve seen in years,” he said. “It’s been up and down lately.”

Insana said it’s important to do the fish counts, which are performed from April through May, because it helps determine how many fish are populating the stream as well as how many are spawning.

“We want to know what’s coming in,” he said. “By catching the fish and identifying the spawn marks behind their gills, we can determine the number of repeat spawns. It’s been lacking lately.”

Insana emphasized the importance of making the fish count a family project and getting kids to work together with adults.

“We want people to be there and we want community involvement,” he said. “We want to get kids connected to the great outdoors. This ties in to the No Child Left Inside Act, which is aimed at helping to teach kids about the environment.”

Insana said this will be the sixth year of doing the fish count and said he’s seeing more and more volunteers each year getting involved.

“Last year we had 17 volunteers,” he said. “Every year we get more and more volunteers. People love it and come back each year.”

Insana said there is no cost to participate in the training sessions, which will be led by Phil Edwards from Fish and Wildlife. Edwards will show volunteers how to measure the depth and length of the water as well as how many fish swim by in a 10-minute period.

“By using a flat piece of metal that is painted white at the bottom, it helps you to see the fish better as they swim by,” Insana said.

Insana said the training lasts no more than 10 minutes. The trainings will be held on Thursday, March 27 from 5 to 6 p.m. and on Saturday, March 29 from 10 to 11 a.m. Those interested should plan to meet at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 475 Sandy Lane , in the back parking lot.

“Everyone knows Buckeye Brook,” Insana said. “We want people to be there.”