Herring Restoration Project Completed on Ten Mile River, RI


ecoRI.com: A ribbon-cutting ceremony recently celebrated the completion of the Ten Mile River Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Project in East Providence, RI. The project is designed to restore river herring to the watershed and provide river connectivity for other fish species.

The June 19 event took place at the Hunt’s Mill Dam historic site, one of the three dams where fish ladders were built along the river. The 56-square-mile Ten Mile River watershed originates in Massachusetts, crosses into Rhode Island, flows through East Providence and then enters the Seekonk River—one of the headwaters of Narragansett Bay—at Omega Pond Dam.

The project was built in 2 phases. Construction of fish passages at Turner Reservoir and Hunt’s Mill Dams began in unison and finished in September 2012. The Omega Pond Dam started later and was completed in April 2015.

The 4’-wide fish ladders are concrete waterways with wooden baffles that allow fish to swim to their natural spawning habitat. Migrant slots also were cut into the existing spillways at Omega Pond and Turner Reservoir to facilitate downstream migration of juvenile fish. A fish trap was installed at Hunt’s Mill Dam to relocate excess fish to other watersheds.

The restoration project provides access to more than 340 acres of spawning and nursery habitat, and about 3 miles of riverine spawning habitat for river herring.  Based on Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) projections, these habitat areas have the potential to support a fish run of more than 200,000 river herring.

Read more about the Ten Mile River herring restoration project.