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Stockdale in Wabash County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Tradition Meets Innovation

 
 
Tradition Meets Innovation Marker image. Click for full size.
By TeamOHE, June 5, 2020
1. Tradition Meets Innovation Marker
Inscription.  
The Problem
The Stockdale Mill has worked well for the production of flour and corn meal since construction in 1856 however; the dam that provides waterpower to the mill turbine also hindered the ability of fish to migrate upstream. Nearly 80% of freshwater riverine fish species are migratory and rely on large stretches of river to complete their life cycle. The connectivity of stream habitat for spawning, rearing, and overwintering is critical to the health of fish populations within the Eel River ecosystem. Unfortunately, the study of fish passage as a whole has been devoted mainly to diadromous migratory fish (fish migrating between saltwater and freshwater on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts) and not to migratory freshwater fishes within Midwest streams like the Eel River. Due to the lack of research, blocked inland waterways by culverts and/or dams have been overlooked and highly misunderstood.

Fish Ladder Construction
The four-year effort to install this prototype fish ladder began after the Stockdale Mill Foundation gave their blessing to move forward with the project in 2013 as part of their

Tradition Meets Innovation Marker image. Click for full size.
By TeamOHE, June 5, 2020
2. Tradition Meets Innovation Marker
pledge "to be good stewards of the mill, dam, and river as they educate the public on their history significance.” The fish ladder would provide a way for fishes to safely cross the dam and reach areas upstream to complete their life cycle and genetically connect populations above and below the dam.

A partnership of biologists spent many years studying the fish populations in the Eel River while documenting how barriers affect fish migration. The Stockdale Mill dam provided a representative site that was the perfect location to test a one-of-a-kind fish passageway invented by B.K. Riverfish, LLC. Laboratory research and development of the fish ladder took place over a two-year period followed by a full-scale prototype constructed and delivered to the Stockdale site on. August 14, 2017. An antenna system to track the movement of fish within the river and fish ladder was installed in September 2017. The ladder was officially opened in mid-November 2017.

Since the installation and opening of the fish ladder, more than 15 fish species have been observed inside of the ladder. Fish as small as three inches have been documented to move through the ladder and around the dam. The first time fish could pass around the dam in 160 years! It is estimated fish as large as two feet will be able to swim up the ladder.

The fish ladder will be monitored to evaluate

Stockdale Mill image. Click for full size.
By TeamOHE, June 5, 2020
3. Stockdale Mill
the number and kinds of fish that use the ladder. This project shines a light on the problem of barriers to migratory freshwater fish as well as an innovative solution that allows fishes to pass over or around dams while preserving the history that sits at this site and other similar historic sites.

Ladder/River Facts
It is estimated that 15 species of fish and thousands of individuals have passed through the ladder since its opening

Listed as a National Fish Habitat Partnership Top 10 Watersheds to Watch

American Bald Eagles nest along the river

The ancestral home of the Potawatomi and Miami Indians Geologic boundary between the glacial lakes region (north) and the glacial till plain (south)

The ancestral home of the Potawatomi and Miami Indians

Geologic boundary between the glacial lakes region (north) and the glacial till plain (south)

52 species of fish call the Eel River home (one state endangered)

The Eel River is about 100 miles long

River otters call the Eel River home

Home to 25 freshwater mussel species (including two federally endangered)

The watershed land use is 85% row-crop agriculture

Popular destination for recreation (canoeing, swimming, fish, etc.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed

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in these topic lists: AnimalsIndustry & CommerceNative AmericansWaterways & Vessels.
 
Location. 40° 54.817′ N, 85° 56.567′ W. Marker is in Stockdale, Indiana, in Wabash County. Marker is on Indiana Route 16 0.1 miles from Indiana Route 16. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6071 N 800 W, Roann IN 46974, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. About The Stockdale Mill (here, next to this marker); Stockdale Mill (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Roann Covered Bridge (approx. one mile away); Miami Indian Mills (approx. 8.8 miles away); Wabash County (Indiana) Honor Rolls (approx. 10.2 miles away); First Electrically Lighted City (approx. 10.2 miles away); Brush Carbon Arc Light (approx. 10.2 miles away); Thomas F. Payne / Modoc (approx. 10.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Stockdale.
 
Also see . . .  Stockdale Mill. (Submitted on December 22, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 22, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 22, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 29 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 22, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 4, 2021