Eelway Exit In Place
Photograph by: C. Fox
Date of Photograph: May 31, 2012
Here you see the eelway exit installed inside a flooded concrete channel at the headpond created behind the dam. This is where the eels rejoin the river after traveling up the eelway from below the dam. As the river level rises and falls, so will the exit allowiong only the 2-5 gallons of water per minute that eels prefer to "swim" against. The Pawcatuck River is unique in that it is rich with eels, despite the fact that the American eel is being considered nationally for addition to the threatened species list. During the project's construction, eels of all sizes have been observed trying to find a way over and around the dam. This new eelway includes a trap that will allow RIDEM biologists to count and size some of the eels that call the Pawcatuck River their home.