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Diver Annette Spaulding Shares Her Discoveries at Grand Opening of the Bellows Falls Fish Ladder on Saturday, June 23

Diver Annette Spaulding Shares Her Discoveries at Grand Opening of the Bellows Falls Fish Ladder on Saturday, June 23

posted Tuesday, June 12, 2018

What's At The Bottom of The Connecticut River?

At the Bellows Falls Fish Ladder Visitor Center, we see incredible salmon and sea lampreys swim by every summer. But there are even more treasures hidden beneath the waves, ripples, and pools of the Connecticut River: historical artifacts, shipwrecks, and Native American petroglyphs (rock carvings) have been discovered in this amazing river.

Join The Nature Museum and master diver Annette Spaulding, who has been diving in the Connecticut River for over 30 years, for the grand re-opening of the Bellows Falls Fish Ladder and Visitor Center on Saturday, June 23! From 10 AM to 4 PM, Annette will be sharing stories and showing artifacts she has found on her dives.

Meet with Annette on June 23 and ask her about her life as a diver: What's it like to find a shipwreck underwater? How did she get trained as a search-and-rescue diver? Which artifact intrigues her the most? Which animals has she seen swimming near the fish ladder? Annette is a master diver and has spent three decades exploring the waters of the Connecticut River. In the fall of 2015, she discovered Native American petroglyphs near the junction of the West River and the Connecticut River- a discovery she'd been working towards for decades.

The Bellows Falls Fish Ladder Visitor Center will be open from 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday, June 23 for a full day of free grand opening celebrations. In addition to Annette's sharing of her knowledge and artifacts, The Nature Museum's environmental educator, Jay DeGregorio, will be leading an interactive program at 10 AM. Stop by for Jay's program, meet with Annette and ask about her diving adventures, and then peruse and enjoy the exhibits of the Visitor Center, which guide visitors of all ages through the ecology of this amazing river and its habitats. Learn about the fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and birds who live here. Walk below the water level and watch the water rush past - you may see a sea lamprey suctioned onto the window. Discover the history of the fish ladder, and be sure to meet the newest member of the fish ladder team: Bernie, a full-size, historic diving suit used in the 1970s by technicians at the fish ladder!

In 2018, the Visitor Center is open on Fridays and Saturdays from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend from 10 AM to 4 PM. Most weeks, there will be a free nature program from 10 AM to 11 AM. These programs include activities and take-home crafts and are led by a Nature Museum educator. Programs include "World of Owls - What's All the Hoot About?," "Inspecta Insecta," and "All About Black Bears". All programs are free. Please note: There will be no special programming on 7/13, 7/14, 7/27, 7/28. For more details on each week's programming, visit

The Nature Museum operates the Visitor Center on behalf of Great River Hydro, owner of the fish ladder as well as the hydroelectric facility in Bellows Falls, Vermont. The Visitor Center is located at 17 Bridge Street in Bellows Falls.The Nature Museum creates experiences that engage and enlighten audiences of all ages, and inspire stewardship of our natural world through natural history exhibits, nature programs for adults and children, the summer operation of the Bellows Falls Fish Ladder Visitor Center, and the annual Fairy House Festival in September! Learn more at

Photo: A sea lamprey visits the Bellows Falls Fish Ladder Visitor Center.

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Half Price Sale at the Chester Andover Family Center
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