Historical photo of Fish Ladder courtesy Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration.

Scientific American: Fishes may not need bicycles, as Gloria Steinem once suggested, but elevators and ladders can come in handy.

Since the 1960s the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has required dam builders to install state-of-the-art fish passages on public waterways to help shad, salmon and other species make their annual spring journeys upriver to spawn. Hydropower dams have built inclined water channels called ladders that fishes could swim through or elevators that use caged buckets to lift fish up and over the dam.

Although these passages are monitored to ensure that fishes use them, a new study by ecologists and economists shows that very few fishes actually pass through to reach their spawning grounds, which exacerbates the decline in fish populations.

Read more:

Scientific America


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