Fishlift visit

I visited a fishlift with my friend Anne on Holyoke’s Infrastructure Day last month.

The fishlift gives fish an elevator ride so they can get past Holyoke’s municipally-owned hydroelectric dam on their way upstream to spawn.

The dam stretches straight across the river. With pyramidal structures sticking off the top at an angle, it undulates downward like a wave. Made of huge stone blocks, it looks like the wall of some fantasy city.

You can see how the fish might have a problem without the lift.

Near the top of the lift is a viewing room where you can watch the fish continue on their way. We saw lots and lots of shad

And sometimes a sea lamprey zipped by!

The lampreys kind of looked like kielbasas with eyes, fins, and gill pores.

We listened to “Fish” by Mr. Scruff as we drove away to further adventures.

Comments (9)
  1. @Debbie Shad and the occasional sea lamprey (others too, but not that day) — pics in the post.

  2. Not pictured: the lifts themselves or the inside of the power station, because I was too busy clasping the railings in fear of heights and didn’t want to drop my phone.

  3. Great pics. I went there with my family right after a storm and the water was too murky for me to see anything. Now I can see them. Thanks!

  4. @Michael I had the same experience on a school trip to a fish ladder years ago — nothing but murk. It was nice to finally see it for real!

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