Hathaway Pond Fish Ladder Fund Raiser

The efforts have been relatively quiet for the past year in regards to activities and news for the Hathaway Pond Dam property.

The “Save Hathaway’s Pond” effort was a success and since Fall 2010, a lot was going on in the background between the Buzzards Bay Coalition (BBC) and Beaton’s Inc.

At this point, the property on which the dam sits has been conveyed to Beaton’s Inc.

One of several conditions to bring about the change in ownership was that an improved fishway be incorporated into the dam. To that end, Douglas Beaton contracted with EA Engineering, Science and Technology from Warwick, R.I., to design plans for a new fish ladder to be installed in one of the spillways of the dam. The plans were to incorporate a 10-foot section of aluminum Alaskan Steeppass that would be provided by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF). Alewives Anonymous, Inc., had requested that a means to adjust the flow of water be built into the design in order to operate the ladder at its optimum level. This has been done, and the completed plans and the project were presented to the Rochester Conservation Commission (RCC) for an RDA hearing March 5. The project was accepted and construction could begin with an anticipated completion date of April 1, just in time for this year’s spring migration of the herring. An unforeseen problem arose when it was discovered there was bedrock not far below the river bottom, and it would not be possible to install pilings to support the exit end of the ladder. The engineer provided an alternative design using a concrete block and the change was approved by the RCC, along with a requested extension of the completion date to April 15. If working conditions are not favorable in that time frame, the installation will be done in late summer.

Alewives Anonymous has launched a fundraising campaign to solicit financial support from our members, those who supported the Save Hathaway Pond petition, area residents, sportsmen and everyone who can appreciate the benefits of a successful herring population in the Sippican River.

The herring’s lot in life is to be a food source in the marine environment. A female will produce from 80,000 to 100,000 eggs. From those many eggs, only several adult herring will return to spawn at age three or four. From the time the eggs are released in the fresh water spawning pond, consumption begins. Everything from fish, water birds, striped bass, bluefish, seals, etc., look for herring as it goes through its life cycle. The herring fry are primary food source for the endangered Rosette terns.

Tax-deductible donations may be made to Alewives Anonymous, Inc. Please include on your check memo line “Hathaway Pond Fish Ladder Fund” and mail to Alewives Anonymous, Inc., Arthur F. Benner, 319 Cushman Road, Rochester MA 02770.

All donations will be acknowledged with a thank you note from Alewives Anonymous.

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