The below letter to the editor was published by the Watertown Daily Times on March 24, 2022
As president of the Save the River/Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper board of directors and a third-generation fishing guide, I am very concerned about U.S. Custom and Border Protection’s proposal to build a new facility in Blind Bay. The construction and use of this area would destroy historic breeding grounds of muskie, the apex predator in the St. Lawrence River.
Muskies have only just started to see a resurgence in the region after their numbers were decimated by viral hemorrhagic septicemia. There has been decades of conservation work to help restore the muskie population in the St. Lawrence River. The proposed site for the CBP’s facility in Blind Bay has and continues to play a key role in population rehabilitation as a muskie spawning ground.
Blind Bay is among the top three or four most viable spawning grounds for the fish in the St. Lawrence River basin. The bay represents about 20% of the viable spawning area monitored in the river since 1990.
To build such a large and disruptive CBP station on Blind Bay is an environmentally selfish move and a huge disregard to those monitoring the return of large numbers of muskie. Serious efforts must be made to protect and preserve the river and the entire ecosystem that relies on it.