Conservation NEW

  • By: Ted Williams
The Chickley River after the Town of Hawley, Massachusetts "improved" it.  

Click image for slideshow.

Tobogganing on cafeteria trays can be dangerous, especially when icy conditions coincide with heavy drinking, as always seems to happen in my part of the Northeast. So I stick to the foothills. But recently a dozen more daring participants were hospitalized. Some suffered cranial pressure from ependymal hematomas; others had bone splinters in their meningeal tissue; still others leaked cerebrospinal fluid. Since the brain-trauma physicians were on a golf holiday in Aruba, the hospital administrator enlisted the custodians, providing them with condensed neurosurgical guidelines along with carte blanche authority to do whatever seemed necessary with their saws, chisels and staple guns. All the patients died.

How to Kill a Reborn River

  • By: Ted Williams
  • Photography by: Greg Thomas
  • and Tom Okeefe
Elwha Dam

September 17, 2011 was a day of wild celebration in northwest Washington state for what is billed as the most ambitious salmonid recovery project ever undertaken on a single river. After nearly half a century of lobbying, negotiations, legal wrangling, legislation, environmental review, and a federal outlay of $325 million, the continent’s biggest dam removal project was underway.

Wild, Scenic & Trashed

  • By: Ted Williams
  • Photography by: Greg Iffrig
  • and Mark Morgan
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If not for their horse, ORV and jet-boat hatches, the first two scenic rivers designated by Congress would offer only inspiring scenery and quiet, enjoyable fishing.

Let Them Eat Tin

  • By: Ted Williams
  • Photography by: Mark Pokras
Loon X-Ray

On a may pre-dawn in 2009 i held a quivering loon in my arms. It had crawled out of Big Island Pond and onto my beach, where it sought shelter against my canoe—a bad start to the day, because loons are a recent addition to this busy southern-New Hampshire lake. When I came in from fishing it had died of plumbism.

Plumbism (lead poisoning) in wildlife is caused almost entirely by ammunition and fishing tackle. The most common victims of tackle are birds that eat fish or dabble in bottom muck. Because they lack teeth they “chew” their food with gizzards, ingesting pebbles to aid the process. Frequently they mistake lost sinkers or jigheads for pebbles; in fact, they key in on them. Even more frequently, they eat lead-toting fish that have broken off anglers’ lines.

State of the Bluefin

  • By: Ted Williams
  • Photography by: John McMurray
Bluefin Tuna

What are we to make of the international effort to manage bluefin tuna? A better question might be: Is there an international effort to manage bluefin tuna? From what we saw in 2010 and over the past 45 years, the answer to the second question has to be “No.”

Under BP's Sheen

  • By: Ted Williams
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Exclusive Report: No one has a clue what will befall fish in the biggest toxicology experiment in U.S. history. Our Conservation editor examines the situation...

Freak Trout

  • By: Ted Williams
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Triploids are manufactured-in-the-laboratory-fish with three chromosomes rather than the normal two.

The "F" Bomb

  • By: Ted Williams
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"In 1996, for the first time in 220 years, Congress steered away from flexibility in marine-fish management with the Sustainable Fisheries Act, which amended Magnuson by outlawing overfishing and mandating speedy recovery of depleted stocks."

Wither Maine Char?

  • By: Ted Williams
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America could lose these beautiful and unique fish before most anglers even realize we have them.

Unnatural Gas

  • By: Ted Williams
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"So-called clean natural gas fouls everything but your furnace. In a process called “hydraulic fracturing,” developed by Halliburton Company, a witches’ brew of water, sand, formaldehyde, acids, petroleum compounds and herbicides (highly toxic to fish) that discourage pump-clogging algae in wastewater ponds and tanks, is blasted into the earth at high pressure, fracturing the shale."