Fish Elevator
Fish Elevator
                                            Photo by Donna Hilton

Along with the new dam at Winooski One Hydroelectric came a new problem of blocking spawning fish.  A fish elevator was installed along side the Winooski Falls dam in order to aid the fish of the Winooski River to get upstream to spawn.  A fish ladder is required by law; however, in order to assist the fish in the greatest capacity, a fish elevator was installed instead.  This elevator allows the fish to be transported beyond the two dams in existence further up the river.  The fish are lured into a narrow compartment (above) at the base of the dam.  To the fish, the water rushing through this compartment looks like a stream.  The fish, desiring to travel upstream to spawn, swim into this compartment and are unable to find a way out.

Holding Tank
                                                                                                                                             Photo by Donna Hilton

The elevator is raised three times a day in the Spring from April to early June.  If there are fish trapped in the elevator, they are raised to a holding tank (above) where they may stay for up to a week.  The fish are then examined and tagged.  Finally, these fish are transported up the river where they can spawn.  Fishermen who catch tagged fish are asked to send in the tag. They in turn receive a certificate stating as much about the fish as is known.

 

Fish Elevator Data