A Way for Fish

A Way for Fish (HM2IYS)

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N 38° 56.922', W 77° 7.579'

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Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park

— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —

If you walk down the short path to the water's edge and look upriver to your right, you can see Snake Island in the middle of Little Falls Dam. Just behind the island, hidden underwater, is a fishway—a passage that enables fish to swim beyond Little Falls Dam. Fragments of C&O Canal rubble dam are still visible below Little Falls Dam.

For centuries, fish like American and hickory shad, striped bass, white perch, and Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon migrated up the Potomac River to their spawning grounds. With the building of dams for the canal in the 1800s and with later dams like Little Falls to supply water to Washington residents, migrating fish were cut off from their historic spawning territory reducing reproduction and access to food storage.

This new fishway, completed in February 2000, is designed to reduce the velocity of downstream flow so fish can swim upstream. Over 10 miles and 1,000 acres of spawning habitat are now available, promoting greater fish reproduction, expanding wildlife food supplies, and increasing anglers' chances of hooking fish.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Maryland Department of Natural Resources constructed the new fishway with support from a multi-agency task group, part of the Chesapeake Bay Program. This view is from the Virginia


The American shad above was caught to use in the shad stocking program restoring juvenile shad back into the river between 1995 and 2002. The Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service jointly conducted the shad stocking program with the help of hundreds of students and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Series This marker is part of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal series
Placed ByNational Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, July 20th, 2019 at 11:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 315736 N 4313233
Decimal Degrees38.94870000, -77.12631667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 56.922', W 77° 7.579'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 56' 55.32" N, 77° 7' 34.74" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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