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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Robert E. Barrett Fishway - Holyoke, Massachusetts

Robert E. Barret Fishway, photo by J.T. Lynch

The fish are on their way. 

The Robert E. Barrett Fishway at the Holyoke Dam, Holyoke, Massachusetts is open to the public to observe an annual phenomenon: the spring migration of fish up the Connecticut River.

Robert E. Barret Fishway, photo by J.T. Lynch

American Shad are most predominant species, joined by Sea Lamprey, Blueback Herring, Atlantic Salmon, Shortnose Sturgeon, Striped Bass and other fish.  Most adult fish return to spawn in the rivers where they were born.

A mechanical menagerie awaits the fish at the Holyoke Dam (a sprawling granite structure across the river.  It's first version in the mid-nineteenth century was responsible for the establishing of Holyoke, a planned industrial city).  The fish are lifted in large metal bins over the dam to continue their journey north. 

Robert E. Barret Fishway, Mt. Tom in the background, photo by J.T. Lynch

But first, they scoot past the observation room where the public can have a look at the marvel.  The fish population is monitored, and the Fishway along the dam is at least one instance of industry giving nature a helping hand and providing laudable stewardship of our environment.  For more on the Robert E. Barrett Fishway, have a look at this website.

The fish are clearly appreciative.  That's their happy face.

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