Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ten Mile River fish ladder project is starting construction

The Ten Mile River will be getting three new fish ladders, starting with Turner Reservoir. The water levels in the reservoir are currently being drawn down in preparation for installation of the fish ladder later this month.

Water levels will be lowered 30-42 inches and it is expected that about 15 feet of shoreline will be exposed during this time. Sampling of Turner Reservoir conducted by the MA Department of Public Health on September 1st confirmed high concentrations of the blue-green algae, Microcystis. DEM will notify the public when it is safe to resume recreational activities, but boating and other recreation on the river is currently not advised. You should also not allow your pets to drink the water due to toxins in this algae.

The project will continue into next year with the completion of fish ladders at Hunts Mill and Omega Pond. This will allow anadromous fish to gain access to the river up to the dam just above Slater Park in Pawtucket. There is a combination of 340 acres of spawning habitat in the three ponds for alewife and about three miles of river spawning area for blueback herring and American shad.