Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Foundation contributes to
Woonasquatucket River project

fish ladders to be constructed along the river
RISAA Foundation

The Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Foundation has again shown it’s commitment to the restoration of the Narragansett Bay watershed, by contributing to the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council and the project to provide fish passage at  dam sites along theCheck presentation river.

The Woonasquatucket River is another success story.  A was a once polluted river that at one time made sick children who swam in it.  Now the river is a federally designated “American Heritage River” and biologists have declared it suitable for anadromous fish to return.

The river begins at Primrose Pond in North Smithfield and extends 15 miles to downtown Prividence passing through Smithfield, North Providence and Johnston.

The first phase of the project was the construction of a 140 foot Denil fish ladder at the Rising Sun Mills dam.  This just completed dam is located off Valley Street in the Olneyville section of Providence, and this fish passage will immediately premit blueback herring, alewife and maybe even shad to gain access to spawning areas above this part of the river.

The mill itself is newly renovated and provides housing for  private companies and residential units.

In a Providence Journal story about the river published last month, it was noted that “the efforts began in earnest early last year when Andy Lipsky, state biologist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, went out on the river” and found river herring upstream.

“Sure enough,” said Lipsky.  “There were lots of alewife bumping their heads up against the dam.”

The next part of the project will be at the Paragon Dam, located off Valley Street and is approximately 1/4 mile upstream of Rising Sun Mills.
Then, 3 miles upstream is the Atlantic Mills dam, located off Aleppo Street.

RISAA intends to continue its support this project in the future.