Hammonton in Atlantic County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Swimming the Ladder to Success
Wharton State Forest
While the Batsto Dam provided power to a once prospering village, it halted the natural migration of spawning fish. The Batsto River Fishway Project provides a pathway over the dam. This project improves the aquatic ecosystem and provides increased recreational opportunities by allowing migratory fish access to historic spawning and foraging habitat.
Three Fishes Go Up the Ladder
The Batsto River is a diverse ecosystem that historically included migratory routes of alewife, blueback herring and American eel. Alewife and blueback herring are amadromous species, which migrate in the spring from the ocean and bays into freshwater rivers and lakes to spawn. American eel also migrate, but from the river to the sea to spawn (catadromous).
The fishway opens approximately 8 miles of habitat for these important prey species. Enabling these species to complete their historic spawning runs helps restore the natural food web, benefiting many predatory species.
Erected by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection & Division of Parks & Forestry.
Topics. This historical marker is Animals • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 39° 38.604′ N, 74° 39.03′ W. Marker is in Hammonton, New Jersey, in Atlantic County. Marker can be reached from Batsto Road, on the left when traveling north. Marker is located in Historic Batsto Village. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hammonton NJ 08037, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Pane in the Glass Factory (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Auxiliary Power System (about 500 feet away); Bog Ore (approx. 0.2 miles away); Wagon (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ore Boat or Barge (approx. 0.2 miles away); Wharton State Forest (approx. 0.2 miles away); Exploring the Pinelands (approx. 0.2 miles away); William K. Phillis War Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hammonton.
More about this marker. The top of the marker contains a picture of the Batsto River Fishway in Cross Section, with a closeup of the fishway. The test says “How does it work? The fishway, or ‘fish ladder’, consists of a series of progressively higher steps the fish can swim over.”
Images of the Blueback Herring (Alosa aestivalis) Size: up to 15 inches, Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) Size: up to 15¾ inches, and American Ell (Anguilla rostrate) Size up to 60 inches appear on the marker.
Next to this is a diagram explaining the Herring Life Cycle: Spring – Adult herring ascend rivers to spawn; Summer – Young grow throughout summer in rivers and lakes.; Fall – Juvenile herring follow rivers downstream.; 3 to 6 Years – Herring grow and mature for approximately 3 to 6 years in bays and the ocean.
To the right is an illustration showing Predators that Benefit from Herring & American Eel. These predators include Chain Pickerel, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Great Blue Heron, River Otter, Yellow Perch, Largemouth Bass and Striped Bass.
Also see . . . Batsto - A Journey into the Past. Historic Batsto Village website. (Submitted on August 11, 2014, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 26, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 11, 2014, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 383 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 11, 2014, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.