River Herring at Horn Pond: Update from Division of Marine Fisheries

Fish passage at Horn Pond is occurring, but we recognize it is far from ideal. Thanks to the interest and efforts of everyone involved with MyRWA, Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF), and other groups we should hopefully have a true fishway at Scalley Dam within the next 5 years. Until then, we can all work together to make fish passage as good as possible.  

Staff from DMF have moved rocks in the auxiliary spillway to the right of the dam to provide a level of passage for river herring. This spillway is steeper than desired, but does provide passage for a good number of fish although many do not ascend. At several points passage occurs under large rocks, so if you don’t see fish making it up when you stand at the bridge that does not mean they are not doing it! There is currently a stone “wall” that has been erected to hopefully guide fish towards the auxiliary spillway rather than the base of the dam. This was purposefully made to allow fish to pass over it and give fish that had passed over an opportunity to go back downstream in order to minimize mortality of fish that make it over the wall. Each week, DMF visits Scalley Dam 3 to 4 times to net fish from below the concrete spillway into Horn Pond and check that the auxiliary spillway is still passable.

We appreciate all the effort from the community and welcome any questions or suggestions you might have.