Analysis of Impediments to Spawning Migrations of Anadromous Fishes in Virginia Rivers: Third Quarter Progress Report (Feasibility of Elimination of Impediments)

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Sponsored by the Virginia Highway Research Council, Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation.


spawning, migration, Virginia, transportation, water quality, dams, barriers, upstream, upstream migration, anadromous fish, fish passage, James River, Hydropower


Water quality characteristics and previously identified dams on the James and Rappahannock Rivers were investigated to assess the feasibility of eliminating them as barriers to upstream migration of anadromous fish. SWCB data indicated that water quality was not sufficiently degraded on the James or the Rappahannock to prohibit fish migrations. The Embrey Dam at Fredericksburg on the Rappahannock may soon be modified to permit fish passage. On the James, five dams at Richmond are currently being considered for passage modifications; access to an additional 139 miles of the James appears likely by the early 1990s. Access to the remainder of the upper James River is blocked by a series of seven hydropower dams. Passage around this series of barriers cannot plausibly be anticipated for at least 30 years.

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