The Pennypack Is Free -- Again
The dams across Pennypack Creek were removed earlier. The final step in this project to restore the Pennypack was construction of a rock ramp fishway over one of the utility lines that crosses the Pennypack.
A rock ramp fishway is a collection of rocks configured underwater to create a “ramp” over a barrier that would otherwise be impassable for migratory fish. Well-designed rock ramps mimic natural river features so that they blend with their surroundings. The average passerby will not notice their presence. While imperceptible to some, these structures can provide important alterations to immovable barriers that prevent fish such as American shad, hickory shad, river herring and striped bass from passing with ease. Long-term restoration of recreational fisheries throughout Pennsylvania has a potential economic impact of $36 million.
Like the other restoration projects on Pennypack Creek undertaken in the last year, the installation of the rock ramp fishway has been a cooperative effort. Funding for the design and construction work was provided through a partnership between the Philadelphia Water Department, American Rivers, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Restoration Center (U.S. Department of Commerce) and the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission.
“The Philadelphia Water Department is proud to be a part of the diversity of groups we saw gathered along the creek this past May celebrating the continued restoration of the creek,” said Bernard Brunwasser, Water Commissioner of the Philadelphia Water Department. “We are excited about the opportunity to install a cost-effective rock ramp which allows fish passage further upstream.”