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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

CT groups prepare for World Fish Migration Day

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Friday, May 24, 2024   

Groups in Connecticut are preparing to celebrate World Fish Migration Day on Friday.

The biennial event celebrates migratory fish species and their importance. It also highlights challenges these species face, such as climate change. Warming waters make it harder for them to survive.

Rhea Drozdenko, a river steward with the Connecticut River Conservancy, noted that planting trees on river banks can reduce water temperatures. She said dams also pose a challenge for fish.

"They are essentially blocking off a river," she said, "so fish that might have historically been able to go far north, up through our watershed, now that there's dams there, they are now blocked. And so, now they have smaller and smaller habitats at their disposal."

She said conservation groups advocate for safer passage with fish ladders and fish elevators at the dams. Another way is removing so-called "deadbeat dams" that no longer serve an economic use and impede fish migration.

More information about events and getting involved is online at worldfishmigrationday.com.

Habitat neglect is another problem for migratory fish species. Steve Gephard, a Connecticut River Salmon Association board member, said he has found that if the habitat isn't suitable, migratory fish won't prosper. He said work is being done to restore important habitat areas.

"In some cases, it means putting rocks back in, putting woody debris back in, revegetating the flood plain, putting some curvature in the stream," he said. "A lot of streams, as they've gone through human areas, have been channelized."

Some habitats get degraded through industrialization and by clear-cutting forests. Data show hundreds of miles of fish passageway reopened between 1999 and 2018. If pathways for fish migration open up by removing dams, Gephard said, environmental groups have to ensure healthy habitat is there for these fish to return to.


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