The downside of fish ladders.

The weir in Raymore Park is an insurmountable barrier to all fish. It’s about 3 metres from the base to the top and that makes it the tallest weir on the Humber. Recently, an attempt is being made to revive sustainable populations of Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout and fingerlings have been released for a few years in places like Bolton and Palgrave in the hopes that they would return annually once established.

The Denil fishway at the weir was constructed with that purpose in mind. It took months to build and cost several hundred thousand dollars. Fish are able to climb the three metres by finding their way through a modified sluice that eases the climb while slowing the current. As previously mentioned, it is prone to blockages from wildlife and even floating twigs thus denying returning fish a chance to spawn where they were released. Today is no exception; the fishway is totally plugged.

We can't even blame the beavers for this one.

We can’t even blame the beavers for this blockage.

Four or five years from now, fishing folk in Bolton and Palgrave will be wondering what happened to the salmon.

All is not lost. A study of all weirs along the Humber has been under way and soon, a TRCA report will detail what to do with the Raymore Park weir and its associated fishway. Let’s hope for a natural and unblockable solution for migrating fish.

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