Passage Conditions and Counts of Fish at the Snake Island Fishway, Little Falls Dam, Potomac River, Md., 1960-63


P R. Nichols

Publication Date



adult, anadromous fish, carp, catfish, channel, eggs, fish passage, Little Falls Dam, Potomac River, restoration, shad, spawning, sucker, upstream

Report number

Fisheries No. 565

Publication place

Washington, D.C.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Series Title

Special Scientific Reports


Resident fish such as sucker, carp, channel catfish, bluegill, and black crappie traveled through the fishway, but apparently no anadromous fish ascended the river far enough to reach the fishway. It is possible that: (1) the runs of anadromous fish are now at such a low level that the spawning area above Little Falls is not needed as in former years; (2) the stocks with the instinct to move above Little Falls which were blocked from their natural spawning ground when the Little Falls Dam was rebuilt in 1949 have since disappeared; and (3) the rapids between Chain Bridge and the fishway may deter the upstream progress of migrating fish. Success in the reestablishing runs of anadromous fish above Little Falls may require the planting of fertilized eggs and adult fish in the upper river and the construction of fish-passage facilities at the rapids above Chain Bridge. Successful hatching of shad eggs and the collection of young shad above Little Falls indicate that the river is suitable for the restoration of the species.

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