Please support local news coverage –

Donate Here

Effort continues to improve Ten Mile River fish ladder at Hunts Mills

Test pools created to determine if computer model is effective in the wild

Posted 8/11/20

EAST PROVIDENCE — The United States Army Corps of Engineers, in conjunction with state and local officials as well as area non-profits, recently continued its long-running effort to assist …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Please support local news coverage –

Donate Here

Effort continues to improve Ten Mile River fish ladder at Hunts Mills

Test pools created to determine if computer model is effective in the wild

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — The United States Army Corps of Engineers, in conjunction with state and local officials as well as area non-profits, recently continued its long-running effort to assist herring migration on the Ten Mile River in city.

At the Corps’ request, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management personnel along with members of the The Nature Conservancy Rhode Island Chapter and the Ten Mile River Watershed Council, last week, constructed temporary structures in the river using sand filled super sacks and sandbags to aide fish who still struggle to pass an exposed ledge below the ladder installed at Hunts Mills. The exercise is serving as a physical model to determine if the Corps’ computer simulation would actually be effective.

A special, long-arm excavator was used to put 30 sand-filled super sacks, weighing 3,400 pounds apiece, into position over two days in early August to help create four pools, each placed about six inches lower than the previous one.

According to the TNC, river herring are an important food source for ospreys, bluefish and striped bass. Engineers will use this physical model to design permanent weirs so fish can reach the ladder more efficiently. They will measure the resulting flow downstream and compare it to the swimming speed of river herring. Temporary weirs will be left in place through the spring 2021 herring run to see how fish interact with the new structures at Hunts Mills.

Spring flows on the Ten Mile River have to be just right for river herring to get by a natural obstruction at Hunts Mills. At high water, fish are pushed back; at low flows, a 3-foot bedrock ledge is exposed—too tall for the herring to swim over. The addition of stone or concrete weirs would create a series of pools to calm the river and submerge the outcrop, allowing fish to ascend a watery staircase. But the river’s rocky and irregular bottom is difficult to replicate in a computer model, so before pouring concrete the decision was made to conduct a test using the super sacks.

The project at Hunts Mills cost $53,000 and will enhance a $7.7 million investment in the Ten Mile River, led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, RIDEM, the City of East Providence and Save The Bay. The original fish ladder was installed some 10 years ago.

Please support your local news coverage

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the local economy - and many of the advertisers who support our work - to a near standstill. During this unprecedented challenge, we continue to make our coronavirus coverage free to everyone at eastbayri.com - we believe it is our mission is to deliver vital information to our communities. If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please consider a tax-deductible donation. 

Donate Here

Thank you for your support!

Matt Hayes, EP Post Publisher

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.