Something fishy going on in the Waughs River

Sherry Martell
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THE FALLS - A new passage for fish in the Waughs River will help them reach prime spawning pools that have been inaccessible for more than a century.
A fish ladder, constructed in two sections totalling 70 feet in length, was completed last month to help at least three species of fish travel over a waterfall.
"Everything is operating just as we planned, now we'll just wait for the fish to come," said Charlie MacInnis, spokesman for the fish ladder project with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
He said 'good size' brown trout, weighing between two and four pounds, have already made their way over the top of the falls and department staff is closely monitoring the passage of fish through the ladder.
"We don't really expect a lot of salmon to go through this year because they haven't been there for more than 100 years, but there is a tremendous habitat up river that is just waiting for fish," said MacInnis.
He said historic records show a dam was placed in the river in 1867, cutting off access for fish trying to move from the lower pools to higher pools.
The federal department is working collaboratively with the provincial Department of Fisheries to boost the population in the upper areas of the river by taking steps to stock it.
MacInnis said the ladder was designed so the river and falls will not be altered. Instead, fish are being diverted around rock barriers through a new passageway.
"It's really blended in nicely with the landscape that is there," he said.

smartell@trurodaily.com

Organizations: Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Geographic location: Waughs River

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