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Dams and Fish Migration

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Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum
River and Stream Ecosystems

Some dams can block the upstream migration of numerous fish species. In many areas where dams are built, spawning habitat for fish is lost because the fish can no longer get to that habitat.

There are some ways in which fish migration is possible, even in areas where dams have been built. Fish passages are being added where many dams are located. These allow fish to migrate further upstream into areas that were not available to them after the dam was created.

The lake sturgeon, however, cannot use fish passages to bypass dams because sturgeon are too big. This is one factor that contributed to the decline of the lake sturgeon. Much of its original spawning habitat was lost due to the construction of dams.

Fish Ladder

Fish Ladder

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