Watershed: Eel River
The Stockdale Dam on the Eel River has a restored grist mill, so the dam is being maintained as a cultural artifact. This fishway reconnects over 745 total stream miles in the middle Eel River basin, between the Logansport and Collamer dams. In this recently reconnected stretch, Manchester University has already removed three relict lowhead dams. To facilitate fish passage at this impediment, Manchester University has implemented a modular fishway that was shipped from BK-Riverfish in Massachussetts. Modular fishways, built in several pieces at one facility and shipped as a standard load to the installation site, have not been previously implemented for fish passage in the United States. The ease of manufacture, transport, and installation may make this a model widely replicated at dams or other barriers that cannot be removed.
Manchester University works extensively throughout the Eel River Watershed, and has completed several ORBFHP projects, including implementation of a two-stage ditch, paired watershed research investigating the effects of cover crops on agricultural productivity and pollution, and reintroducing Clubshell mussels to the Eel River. This project took years of design, project planning and development, and local stakeholder engagement to complete, but provides a unique opportunity to investigate fishway effectiveness on inland systems. Manchester University has tagged Smallmouth Bass and has years of telemetry data before any of the dams were removed, and their researchers are planning to tag local fish with Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags and track movement through the fishway with PIT antennae.