East Falls: Returning to the River

New river trail boardwalk turtle sign bikes

Recent news about the Schuylkill River Trail‘s boardwalk is just one of many ways Philadelphia’s been working to improve our “relationship” with our city’s rivers. East Falls has its own plan in the works:

Slope and Erosion Protection proposed landing PM

Fishways have played a HUGE part in the return of our wildlife! Since the 1800’s, important waterways have been dammed, preventing migrating fish from reaching their spawning grounds.

Fairmount Dam Fishway Facility

But in the 1970’s, Philly initiated a “fishway” program that got a big boost in the early 2000’s that’s led to the return of many native species we’d long assumed would be gone forever.

Aerial view of Fairmount dam and fishway

The fishways have been very successful! (Fairmount is the best known but there are also fishways at Flat Rock, Norristown and Black Rock dams).

Above closeup view of Fairmount fishway concrete barriers

Fish can easily swim up the “fish ladders” to their spawning grounds. While the fish pass though the network of pools, scientists gather important info and documentation.

Side closeup view of Fairmount fishway fish in concrete barriers
Fish counts are a great indicator of water quality.

Otter from fishcam March 2005

Otters too! Even more — otters are particularly sensitive to pollution, so when one showed up on the “FishCam” a few years back, it was big news.

There’s even video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6IvzWHf-Wg

Otters, by the way, are one of the few animals who play as adults (humans are also on that short list, ha!)

North american beaver

And beavers too have been seen lately!

Schuylkill river swim triathalon

The Schuylkill’s attracting HUMAN wildlife too. At last four tri-athalons take place here:

Philadelphia Insurance
Phila Women’s
TriRock Phila

striped bass in schuylkill art museum area Welcome back

Fishing contests? On the Schuylkill???  
(Might wanna think before tucking in, though… )


proposed landing

How about public river access for East Falls, so we can all better enjoy this awesome local resource? Click to add your comments and support a public landing in our neighborhood.


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