Acid rain does a lot of damage to plants, structures and animals, like the brook trout.
In the Five Ponds Wilderness Area in New York’s Adirondacks, acid rain has made the water too acidic for brookies to survive. That’s why there’s now an effort to lower the waters’ acidity using manpower and helicopters.
“Each year, fisheries staff selects an Adirondack pond for liming to reintroduce brook trout in the Adirondacks,” said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Judy Drabicki. “This effort involves months of planning and coordination with DEC operations staff, forest rangers and forestry staff, along with state police helicopters, pilots and crews. This joint effort is critical to reclaim waters impaired by acid rain and restore native habitats to these Adirondack waters.”
This year, the DEC chose a pond in the town of Webb, in Herkimer County. 40 members of the DEC staff and New York State Police helicopter crews shipped 80 tons of lime to the pond. It took 120 flights to deliver all of the lime on March 10, 12 and 13. Crews then spread the lime across the surface of the frozen pond.
Liming is a management tool to help neutralize the water’s acidity. When the ice thaws, the lime will enter the water.
Because larger water bodies in the Adirondacks have a constant deep, cold water layer that is suitable for brook trout, fishery staff believes their efforts will be successful and the species will return.