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Fish ladder will aid herring through Winchester waters to spawning grounds 6-6-17

Fish ladder will aid herring through Winchester waters to spawing grounds

By Melissa Russell
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Wicked Local Winchester

Posted Jun 6, 2017 at 1:29 PM
Updated Jun 6, 2017 at 1:29 PM

As thousands of Alewife and Blueback herring visibly splashed and swam through Winchester waters, state and local officials cut the ribbon on a fish ladder that will help them reach their spawning grounds.

In a ceremony held on Town Day, June 4, John Kilborn, a resident who has advocated for the project for several years, snipped the ribbon and officially declared the project completed.

The ladder, installed in the Center Falls dam, is designed to aid herring as they travel from the Atlantic Ocean to spawn in Horn Pond in Woburn.

The dam system was opened during construction at the Jenks Center two years ago and at the time, thousands of the fish, which had been blocked by development, could be seen navigating the waters for the first time since the Civil War.

MORE VIDEO:
VIDEO: Winchester Town Day, fish ladder ribbon cutting
The Mystic River Watershed Association estimated at that time nearly 500,000 Blueback and Alewife herring migrated into Winchester's tributaries, doubling the number passing through Winchester in 2014, and making it further upstream than anyone could recall. Wildlife sightings, including heron that feed on the fish, were also reported, Kilborn said.

While fish can currently be seen migrating, water levels are low due to the town's flood remediation work. The ladder will see its optimum effect when the town's culvert projects are completed next year, Kilborn said.

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