Fish rapidly reclaim upstream habitat after dam removal

When a dam comes down, the fish come back. Researchers find that rivers rebound with remarkable speed when small dams are removed.

American eels were on the decline in Virginia’s Rappahannock River when the United States Army Corps of Engineers removed the Embrey Dam from the waterway in 2004. Within four years, the endangered eels’ numbers more than doubled, and the fish was being found 100 miles upstream of the dam site.

Atlantic salmon began to reappear just days after the century-old Mill Dam was removed from Sedgeunkedunk Stream in Maine in 2009.

Salmon, if you get of their way, can recolonize their former spawning and rearing grounds fairly quickly,” said research ecologist Jeffrey Duda.
[photo credit: Wikipedia]

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