DEP JOINS FORCES
WITH ARMY CORPS TO BUILD PASSAGEWAY FOR MIGRATORY FISH
(04/79) TRENTON -- New Jersey Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M.
Campbell today announced that the Department and the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers will work together to build a fishway
to provide spawning access for migratory fish on the Batsto
River, increasing fishing opportunities for New Jersey anglers.
DEP and the Army Corps are funding partners in the construction
of a fish ladder on the Batsto River dam in historic Batsto
Village in Wharton State Forest. Under the agreement, DEP
and the Army Corps will jointly finance the construction
project, with the Army Corps overseeing the construction
of the passageway. The estimated cost of the project is
$ 610,000 with DEP contributing $142,000.
"Through effective partnerships like this one, we
are able to restore habitat that has been degrading for
hundreds of years," Campbell said. "The addition
of the fish ladder will provide recreational opportunities
for the more than 250,000 individuals who visit Batsto Village
A fish ladder or a fishway is a structure designed to allow
fish the opportunity to migrate upstream and continue their
function as part of the river ecosystem. Fish ladders are
appropriate when there are blocking structures preventing
fish from migrating upstream to find suitable spawning structures.
Effective passage is critical to the protection and recovery
of many fish stocks.
Dams have prevented fish from spawning upstream on the
Batsto River for more than 200 years. The construction of
the fish ladder at Batsto Village will allow migratory fish
to bypass the dams and access 8 miles of upstream waters.
Currently, a large run of river herring migrate to the base
of the Batsto Lake Dam but are impeded from reaching spawning
and foraging areas upstream.
"Partnership and teamwork are what makes the Corps
of Engineers the premier public engineering organization
that it is and I am confident that the Philadelphia District,
in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Environmental
Protection, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Pinelands
Preservation Alliance, and the Corporate Wetlands Restoration
Partnership will achieve the project's goal to restore the
river's habitat," said Lt. Col. Thomas C. Chapman,
Commander of the Philadelphia District, U.S. Army Corps
Alewife, American eel and blueback herring are the target
species for the ladder. Alewives are a key ingredient in
the coastal food chain and prime forage fish for striped
bass and bluefish.
DEP's contribution will be offset by $50,000 received in
funding from the Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership,
an organization comprised of representatives from government
and industry dedicated to restoring wetlands and other aquatic
The ladder project, which was designed to conform to the
historic attributes of Batsto Village, is expected to be
completed this year.