The Connecticut River

This is all you need to know about the CT River


Fishing, Swimming, Kayaking, Canoeing, Sailing and Water Skiing.

Physical Landscape

The Connecticut River is a slow moving body of water that is surrounded by land. It begins up in Canada and it flows between New Hampshire and Vermont. Then it goes through Massachusetts and Connecticut. It empties into Long Island Sound and after that the water goes into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Abiotic and Biotic Factors

The bottom of the Connecticut River is made up of rocks, sand and mud. The water is clear enough for the sunlight to reach the bottom so there are many types of plants. For example there is Eel Grass, Giant Water Moss, and Common Reed. At the mouth of the river it is salty since it is connected to the ocean. The water at the beginning of the river in Canada is fresh water. Some of the animals that live there are freshwater trout, frogs, and beavers. The trout is found away from the mouth of the river because they like the water to be cooler, clearer, and having a higher oxygen level than the salt water. Frogs do well because they have eyes that can look in different directions so they will see their predators and not get eaten. The beavers have big teeth for chomping wood and making dams.

Weather Report

Near the mouth of the Connecticut River in Old Lyme, CT the temperature of the water at the top and bottom ranges from 32 degrees F in the winter to 80 degrees F in the summer. The salinity ranges from 0 to 32 units at 25 degrees C. The river's depth ranges from a few inches to 130 ft deep. The deepest part is by the French King Bridge in Gill, Mass. The maximum water flow happens between late March and early May and the minimum flow is during the late summer or early fall. Its fastest flow is 282,000 cubic square feet and its slowest is 950 cubic square feet.

Threats to the Connecticut River and Endangered Species

When it rains, water flows through farms, parking lots, lawns, roads and pipes and picks up contaminants along the way that then end up in the Connecticut River. Metals, personal care products and other pollutants are brought into the Connecticut River as well. Everything that ends up into a storm drains flow into streams that then flow into the Connecticut River. Some of the endangered species are animals such as The Short Nose Sturgeon, the Piping Plover, the Puritan Tiger Beetle and the Dwarf Wedge Mussel. Some endangered plant species are the Small Whorled Plover, Jesup's Milk-Vetch, and the Northeastern Bulrush.

Why the Connecticut River is globally important

We need this water for drinking and it is needed for crops to grow. It is a breeding ground for fish such as salmon. It is also used by boats for transporting goods. People fish for food all along the river. It is needed for runoff from other streams and rivers in the spring when the snow melts otherwise there would be lots of flooding.