Fish Passageway at Flat Rock Dam, PA Department of General Services, Schuylkill River, PA

BH provided design services to the Department of General Services (DGS) for a 175-foot by 12-foot fish passageway at Flat Rock Dam on the Schuylkill River in Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, PA.

This fish passageway, generally known as a fish ladder, is designed with features attractive to anadromous fish, primarily shad, that live in salt water but return to fresh water to spawn. These features include the pitch and height of the “steps,” the right water depth, and a certain volume of the sound of fast-flowing water. This new fish passageway marks an important step in restoring the Delaware River shad fishery.

Services included:

  • An Environmental Assessment for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (using agency).
  • Specifications for stream diversion.
  • Full facility design, including the concrete passageway structure, piping, trash rack, sluice and weir gates, grating, hand railing, fencing, seeding, access stairs, and a flow feature that guides the fish past the observation window in the counting room.
  • Obtaining permits from the Montgomery County Conservation District and the US Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Construction phase support that included site visits and attendance at biweekly job conferences.