Here's a real neat article......
The Big Story Is Fairmount’s Fish Ladder
Congressman Chaka Fattah and Senator Arlen Specter led the campaign to secure funds for the $3.3 million fish ladder project. Fish born in the Schuylkill will have an easier time getting home to spawn when the new fish ladder at the Fairmount Dam opens in late 2008. The goal is to connect all stretches of the river from Pottstown to Fort Mifflin.
The 1979 ladder now located on the west side of the Fairmount dam is inadequate. Most of the shad migrating upstream to spawn are stopped at Fairmount. The new ladder will provide improved hydraulics and increased flow to direct at least 45 varieties of fish through the ladder and up the river.
Shad swimming through the Fairmount fish ladder. “The Clean Water Act of 1972 has led to dramatic improvement in the Schuylkill’s water quality, with many species returning to the river,” said Philadelphia Water Department’s Howard Neukrug at the groundbreaking for the project. “The Fairmount Dam is again one of the best fishing spots in the city.”
Congressman Chaka Fattah and Senator Arlen Specter led the campaign to secure funds for the $3.3 million project. “A fully functioning modern ladder will improve the stock of fish above the Fairmount Dam by allowing them to get there,” said Fattah. “More important, it will impact and improve the ecology of the Schuylkill River far beyond our city’s boundaries. The shad, striped bass, river herring and other commercially viable and endangered species will finally be able to follow nature’s imperative to head upstream.”
Specter sees the river’s return to health as a resource in the community and an Impetus for tourism. “The river and the Water Works, the bike and walking paths are vastly important to city life,” he added.
The migrating fish and the fishermen who gather at the riverside along King and Kelly Drives won’t be the only beneficiaries of the new fish ladder. A live video feed from inside the fish ladder to the Interpretive Center will offer real-time educational opportunities to monitor activity in the river. Stay tuned.
At the groundbreaking for the new Fairmount Dam Fish Ladder were (from left) Philip Price, Fairmount Park Commissioner; Carol Collier, Executive Director, Delaware River Basin Commission; Dr. Douglas Austen, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission; Julie Slavet, district director for Congresswoman Allison Schwartz; Congressman Chakah Fattah; Bernard Brunwasser, Commissioner, Philadelphia Water Department; Lieutenant Colonel Gwen Baker, District Commander, Army Corps of Engineers; and Chris Crockett, Manager of Planning and Resources, Philadelphia Water Department.
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