A context-sensitive fishpass restores fish passage and site aesthetics
The Blackman Stream Fishpass integrates aesthetic and functional design to preserve a historic dam and provide a migratory pathway for spawning fish—a solution that both the community and natural habitat can enjoy.
Leonard Mill’s Dam, located on Blackman Stream, is the centerpiece of the Maine Forest and Logging Museum at Leonard’s Mills Historic Settlement. This late 18th century structure is vital to Maine’s celebrated history and needed to be handled with care. Since breaching the dam was out of the question, we conceived of and designed the fishpass, provided photo simulations, permit support, and construction observation from start to finish.
We created a design that was cost effective and blended into the natural scenery. The fishpass now provides access to the spawning and rearing habitat upstream from the dam for resident and sea-run brook trout, anadromous Atlantic salmon, blueback herring, alewife, sea lamprey, and catadromous American eel.
The proof is in the water, with more than 250,000 alewife visiting Blackman Stream in 2015.
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