Our Living Rivers mentor, Dr. Boyd Kynard

Biocitizen is honored to be collaborating with internationally respected migratory fish biologist Dr. Boyd Kynard in the establishment of the Living Rivers School


This summer at his sturgeon research lab in Erving, Boyd told our students,
If I can get anything over to you that is of value, it’s to have a conservation ethic. We must live with a conservation ethic. If we don’t, we have no chance at all for survival. None. Not for (the fish) and not for us.”  If you (click the hypertext and) look at the pictures, you see students listening closely, rapt with attention, absorbing his science and sharing his ethos. They left his fishways lab wanting to save the fish.

We can’t co-exist harmoniously with migratory fish unless we know how they see the world. Boyd knows how they see it, and puts his knowledge to good use. He founded BK Riverfish with his son, Brian to engineer fishways that actually work, because most don’t. Their Indiana fishway passed 7,000 fish in its first season—in a place no fish had passed upstream for a century. It’s a tourist destination now; people want to be near the fish. They like being close to a living river.

Biocitizen LA: LA River heron from afar

We must repeat that success on the Connecticut and its tributaries. If we can’t save its migratory fish, it’s probable that migratory fish won’t be saved on any river because the Connecticut with its famous Holyoke Dam fishlift, is considered a model of fisheries conservation by the EPA and USFWS.

Boyd’s unique background as a scientist, a conservation activist, teacher and engineer enables him to diagnose problems and provide solutions. He’s played principal roles in developing conservation plans for migratory fish in Europe, South America, and Asia. Here on the Connecticut he is the primary researcher and advocate for the endangered shortnose sturgeon. Because of his activism, the operators of the Holyoke Dam engineered return passage for the sturgeon so now they return to the sea; this glaring problem was ignored until he did the research and educated the regulatory authorities. As he said: “This is the first fish protective device of its kind in North America, and it is perfectly appropriate that it is in Holyoke and that Holyoke is taking the lead on this”.

Biocitizen is teaming with Boyd and BK Riverfish to do research that will lead to enlightened public awareness and treatment of the Connecticut River, our living river, alive with precious species including us!

About the author

Subscribe to Biocitizen Banter

Biocitizen Blogs

RSS Westhampton, MA

  • The River and the Machine: A Biocultural History of Holyoke Dam February 11, 2021
    WHAT IS BIOCITIZEN? The word “biocitizen” is a contraction of “biotic citizen,” a term and idea conceived by Aldo Leopold (1887–1948) who is widely celebrated for conceiving the “land ethic.” A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. A […]
  • Biocitizen MA Welcomes Charlie Schine, FEP teacher! December 31, 2020
    Charlie is a recent graduate from Wesleyan University who is just beginning to get his footing in the big wide world and figure out where he’s going. Although he majored in music, his studies always seemed to circle around environmentalism and the more-than-human world, a cross pollination which began the summer after his freshman year […]

RSS Los Angeles, CA

  • Fear, Growth, and Success! A story of overcoming challenges with Biocitizen LA October 24, 2021
    Lead Teacher Azucena shares her journey reclaiming her narrative through her  field notes recap emails By: Azucena Quinones When I first began working at Biocitizen I was super excited for all of the amazing experiences I would have, from camping, exploring new trails, to working with amazing kids. I knew there would be challenges that […]
  • Mt. Baldy CLAWS – Reflections from our Program Director October 20, 2021
    Mt. Baldy – The Highest Peak in Los Angeles  Day 1 – Friday  Everyone arrived on time with their big packs and smiles to match. We loaded up our gear and said goodbye to our families. After sharing our names, pronouns, one thing we were feeling excited for, and the plan for the day, everyone […]

RSS New York, NY

  • Biocitizen welcomes Yubitza Bermudez, Field Environmental Philosophy Teacher September 25, 2021
    Biocitizen NY is pleased to welcome Yubitza Bermudez as a Field Environmental Philosophy teacher! She’ll be co-leading Free Ranger walks starting mid October! Yubitza enjoys  Chilean and US citizenship and trained in Ecotourism Studies at the Universidad Andres Bello with Vicente Aguirre Diez, the executive director of Biocitizen Chile. We are very excited, because she […]
  • Biocitizen welcomes Tamar Cox Rubien, Field Environmental Philosophy Assistant Teacher !! June 16, 2021
    Biocitizen is so pleased to welcome Tamar Cox Rubien as an assistant Our Place Summerschool teacher! Tamar is a seeker of wisdom, cultural and ecological, and is looking forward to exploring New York City with students with our special focus on how it is placed in the Hudson River estuary biome! Personal Statement My name […]

RSS Concon, Chile

  • Ciudadanos bióticos, coronavirus, Gaia March 30, 2020
    En la sabiduría antigua, tanto en sociedades orientales, occidentales e indígenas, existe como concepción compartida la importancia del vivir el día a día, y de como esta práctica da forma […]