The purpose of the fishway is to provide access to the 4.25-acre head pond and 6 miles of river above the dam for migratory fish such as sea-run brown trout, blueback herring, alewife, sea lamprey and American eel. These species, whose populations have been impacted by lack of access to critical spawning habitat above the state’s many dams, are important forage fish, including commercially important species in Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.
The 170 ft. long fishway rises 10 ft. and consists of concrete entrance structure, resting pool, concrete column supports, turning pool, concrete channel and exit structure, as well as 35 ft. of aluminum steeppass fishway and an eel-pass. To address aesthetic concerns of the residential property owner, simulated stone masonry, re-used steeppass sections, and naturally durable native wood railing material was used.
In 2020 the Pages Mill Pond Dam Fishway received an Engineering Excellence Award from the Connecticut Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies.
The fishway was the 10th fishway designed and inspected by Nathan L. Jacobson & Associates, Inc. It was constructed in the winter and spring of 2020 by Schumack Engineered Construction Corp. for approximately $378,000, with permission from the land owner the Suter family, technical and administrative oversight and guidance from the CTDEEP Fisheries Division, Hammonasset Chapter #446 of Trout Unlimited, Inc., and Save the Sound, as well as generous donations from the National Fish and Wildlife Federation.