Ed Bill’s Pond Dam Fish Ladder – Old Lyme, Connecticut
Nathan L. Jacobson & Associates, Inc. received an Environmental Merit Award in 2001 from the New England Office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Merit Award recognizes environmental advocates who have made outstanding efforts in preserving New England’s environment.
Two such contributions by Nathan L. Jacobson & Associates, Inc. included design and construction administration services for the Mary Griswold Steube Fishway at Lower Mill Pond Dam in Old Lyme, CT and the Ed Bill’s Pond Dam Fish Ladder in Lyme, CT. The latter project is shown in the photos at right.
Prior to construction of the fish ladder, Ed Bill’s Pond Dam was the Eight Mile River watershed’s only remaining impassable barrier to significant spawning habitats for Atlantic salmon, American shad, alewife, blueback herring, sea lamprey and sea-run brown trout. Construction of a fishway at this location completed the restoration of spawning access to the Eight Mile River.
Completed in 2000, the Fish Ladder at Ed Bill’s Pond Dam in Lyme, CT was constructed as a cooperative venture of the Connecticut River Watershed Council, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Silvio O. Conte National Fish & Wildlife Refuge, and the Lyme Land Conservation Trust. The fish ladder consists of concrete entrance and exit structures, and an aluminum steep pass structure that provides a means for anadromous fish to pass the dam and spawn in the pond and the East Branch Eight Mile River.
The fishway also includes a separate aluminum pipe conveyance channel to allow juvenile sea-run brown trout to safely migrate to the river reaches downstream of the dam. A novel design feature of this facility was the suspension of a significant portion of the fish ladder from an abutment of a bridge spanning the East Branch Eight Mile River immediately downstream of the dam. This eliminated the need for a separate support structure and minimized disturbance to the river environment.