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Endangered Connecticut River Sturgeon Gets Its Own Beer

GREENFIELD — The People’s Pint Brewery and the Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC) are partnering to raise awareness of the shortnose sturgeon with a new beer, the Shortnose Stout.

The shortnose sturgeon is an endangered fish that lives and reproduces in the Connecticut River. The public can learn more about this fish at CRWC’s open house on Wednesday, March 25 from 4 to 6 p.m. at 15 Bank Row, Greenfield, and at the People’s Pint uncorking celebration on Friday, March 27 from 4 to 6 p.m. at its pub on Federal Street, Greenfield. Both events are free and open to the public.

“Sturgeon coexisted with dinosaurs,” noted Boyd Kynard, a local researcher on migratory fish and Connecticut River shortnose sturgeon, “so having shortnose sturgeon living in the Connecticut River is biologically special. Our Connecticut River shortnose was greatly diminished by 19th- and 20th-century damming, but today, federal and state agencies are involved in improving the survival for the few shortnose that remain in the river.”

CRWC works along the 410-mile Connecticut River basin to protect rivers and fish. “Over the years, we’ve created many obstacles for migratory fish to overcome as they return to our rivers from the ocean,” said CRWC Executive Director Andrew Fisk. “But there has also been lots of great work throughout New England to remove those obstacles and make our rivers more fish-friendly. Thanks to the support of our members and many great partners, we have been working on projects to benefit fish all along the Connecticut River basin.”

Recent projects include installing a fish ladder that opened last spring on the Rogers Lake Dam on Mill Brook in Connecticut, removing two deadbeat dams on the upper Wells River in Vermont, and planting over 8,700 trees and shrubs along streams to reduce erosion and improve fish habitat.

“Brewing the Shortnose Stout, and working with the Connecticut River Watershed Council, is a great opportunity to make a real difference with the beer we brew here at the Peoples Pint,” said Chris Sellers, People’s Pint brewer. “I am very excited to continue to use our brewery and restaurant as a platform and a tool to raise awareness of issues affecting both our local environment and our local community. So join us at the Peoples Pint, or buy a bottle at your local package store, and raise a glass of Shortnose Stout to helping increase awareness about improving the health of our local waterways and all the species who reside in them. Cheers!”

Shortnose Stout is a traditional dry Irish stout. It has a light body with hints of caramel followed by a deep, roasted finish. A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of this beer go to the Connecticut River Watershed Council.

To learn more about the CRWC, or to join the effort and help protect area rivers, visit www.ctriver.org or call (413) 772-2020, ext. 201.

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