The new Bowmanville Creek fish ladder is finally finished after years of fundraising, planning and jumping through bureaucratic hoops to get a new bypass that larger fish can use to travel upstream and spawn.

For years the Bowmanville Creek fish ladder has been a community dream — with municipal support, fundraisers for the new dam and hundreds of volunteers wading into the water to lift fish over the blocked dam during construction.

The old dam was built in 1988 for trout. When the government introduced Chinook salmon to Ontario waterways, problems began with the Bowmanville Creek fish bypass. Most larger fish missed the jump, got stuck on the concrete dam and died. The estimate was that only one per cent of the large salmon made it up the creek to spawn.

To make the new fish bypass a reality, Valleys 2000 volunteers had to work through a maze of regulations from a number of different agencies charged with protecting the waterways — the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority.

Construction was supposed to start in 2012 but was delayed when the group of volunteers kept being sent back to the drawing board to rework the plan with the engineer.

Donor board

In the spring the final landscaping, as well as signs and a donor recognition board, was completed. This spring and fall, the public will be able to enjoy the breathtaking sight of migrating fish from the observation platform.

It was officially opened December 16th 2013 as is located on the Bowmanville Creek approximately 1 km north of the baseline parking lot.