Fish ladder supports biodiversity in Nova Scotia


JUNE 2020 - BROOKFIELD, NSShortts Lake, a popular cottage lake, is located next to the Brookfield Cement Plant and is the source of water for the plant. At the outfall of the lake, some years ago, Lafarge installed a control dam to allow control of lake levels. The structure also includes an emergency spillway in the event the dam is overwhelmed with too much water.

fish ladder

Shortts Lake and the tributaries are spawning grounds for Alewife Fish. In Atlantic Canada this fish is known as the Gaspereau, (from the Acadian French word gasparot according to some sources), and these small fish would end up getting stuck in the emergency spillway in their efforts to migrate upstream to spawn. They don't jump like some other fish that migrate upstream and so there needs to be a constant flow of water. To help the fish Lafarge built a fish ladder next to the emergency spillway allowing them to migrate upstream to spawn. This project has been successfully working for over 10 years now, and during spawning season the Gaspereau can be seen using the fish ladder in the hundreds.