Thursday, May 06, 2021

Life & Style

The Importance of Fish Migration and Mill Pond Fishway to be Discussed

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As part of the Essex Library’s celebration of Earth Day, an illustrated Zoom talk on Saturday, April 24 at 3 p.m. will introduce the three fishways of the Mill Pond Fishway, built in 2019 at the dam behind the Centerbrook Architects building. Photo courtesy of the Essex Library

As part of the Essex Library’s celebration of Earth Day, an illustrated Zoom talk on Saturday, April 24 at 3 p.m. will introduce the three fishways of the Mill Pond Fishway, built in 2019 at the dam behind the Centerbrook Architects building. (Photo courtesy of the Essex Library )

The Falls River in Essex now has three fishways, structures that let fish get around dams and which are part of an effort to reestablish a run of migratory alewives from Long Island Sound up to Mill Pond.

As part of the Essex Library’s celebration of Earth Day, an illustrated Zoom talk on Saturday, April 24 at 3 p.m. will introduce the three fishways and provide a virtual tour of the Mill Pond Fishway, built in 2019 at the dam behind the Centerbrook Architects building.

Sally Harold and Steve Gephard will discuss fish migration, the life history of the alewife, why it is important to bring them back, explain how a fishway works, and tell the story of how this fishway was built.

They will also talk about the unique eel pass associated with the Mill Pond Fishway. Weather permitting, Gephard and Chris Hill from Centerbrook Architects will offer in-person, socially distanced tours of the fishway after the talk.

Harold managed the project to build the fishway when she was with The Nature Conservancy as its director of River Restoration and Fish Passage. She continues to restore streams as an independent consultant. Gephard is a fisheries biologist who served as a technical advisor on the project. He recently retired from the State of Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection and is now also a consultant. He operates the Mill Pond Fishway as a volunteer steward for the Essex Land Trust. They write a column called “Below the Surface” for Estuary magazine.

This Essex Library virtual event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. To register, visit www.youressexlibrary.org or call 860-767-1560.



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