New Brunswick

Fish ladder installed to help Atlantic Salmon population

A heavy duty, aluminum fish ladder was installed today to help Atlantic salmon return to their spawning ground, with the hope populations will rise.

A group of volunteers brought a fish ladder to culvert to help salmon get back to their home

The hope is that this fish ladder will help Atlantic Salmon get back to their home and increase their population. (CBC News)

A heavy duty, aluminum fish ladder was installed today in Scotch Settlement to help Atlantic salmon return to their spawning ground, with the hope fish populations will rise.

A group of volunteers, spent the morning lugging 210 kilograms of aluminum to a culvert. Fish ladders are usually made of cement or wood, but this one is made to last and help salmon return home.

Jim Weldon is the project manager with Shediac Bay Watershed Association.

"The species of fish will travel up this brook, rest in this pool  then they'll use this fish ladder to access habitat further upstream," said Weldon.

"Now the main species that we're targeting are Atlantic Salmon, sea trout, eels and we think gaspereaux and smelts will probably use this stream also."

Weldon guesses this culvert is at least 60 years old. The problem is, the gap makes it hard for fish to get back up stream.

"That ladder will fill up completely and there will be a good stream of water that they can easily swim up as oppose to trying to jump and smash their bodies against the culvert which obviously injures them and makes them weaker."

Jolyne Hebert is the group's environmental technician. She says habitat preservation is key in improving fish populations, but the work isn't easy:

"It was baby steps coming down the hill and coming down through the woods and getting it through the river and into the water," said Hebert

"Once it was in the water it was a little easier because it could float but it was very interesting and it was a good team work effort." 

The group is hoping with time salmon will return in greater numbers.

Should the culvert be rebuilt sometime in the near future, the fish ladder will be taken to another area where fish are having problems going upstream.

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