History of the Fish Passage

Powering the Rebirth of Our Mighty Blackstone
Bringing Migrating Fish Back to Our Valley
A Historic Valley
Most people in the Blackstone River Valley are familiar with its industrial history, however they may not be as familiar with the impacts of this industry.
At one time, the Blackstone was a wide, wild river—habitat for many species of fish and other wildlife. The Blackstone was breeding territory for shad, herring, and even Atlantic salmon. These are andromous species which hatch in freshwater, migrate to the ocean, and return to their native river to breed (spawn).
Deterioration of the River
The construction of Slater Mill Dam in 1793 initiated the decline of anadromous fish in our area. Dams and mills along the river blocked migration and contributed to heavy pollution of critical habitat.
Bringing the River Back
In the past 30 years, the Blackstone has seen dramatic improvements. As a result of community efforts and environmental legislation (especially the Clean Water Act of 1972), freshwater fish and wildlife are abundant, and people are once more enjoying nature along the Blackstone.
What are the next steps for bringing the fish back?

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