Live Stream: Watch Fish on Bosher’s Dam Shad Camera

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Department of Wildlife Resources Shad Cam has just been upgraded to provide live footage of the Bosher Dam fishway and the spring migration of fish passing through it up the river. James River.

The Shad Cam, the oldest wildlife camera operated by the Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR), has historically provided a continuous stream of still images, but with the help of the City of Richmond, it now has broadcast capabilities live.

8News spoke with DWR Fish Passage Coordinator Alan Weaver about Bosher Dam and the Shad Cam program.

The Bosher Dam Fishway, in which the Shad Cam sits, was completed in 1999. It allows fish to migrate upstream during the spawning season, which they had not been able to do since. the construction of the dam in 1823.

The Bosher Dam provides infrastructure for the water supply of Henrico and the City of Richmond and allows for several public and private boat launches and access points to the river. The fishway mitigates the impact of the dam on aquatic life, allowing passage that is not available at most dam sites.

The fishway, made up of 13 vertical pools with slots built into the walls at nine-inch intervals, allows migrating fish to climb the ten-foot elevation of the dam so they can swim upstream to lay eggs. .

According to Weaver, DWR opens the fishway and begins Shad Cam Creek in mid-March, with fish beginning their upstream migration in late February. Anadromous fish, that is to say fish that live in salt water but return to fresh water to spawn, in particular varieties of shad, passed through the fish pass from April 3. This migratory season ends at the beginning of June.

The Shad Cam is primarily used by DWR fishway biologists to count fish and track migration times. It records the fishway 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as different species of fish migrate at different times of the day. It has occasionally been used for educational purposes, but is also available simply for public enjoyment.

You can see approximately 30 different species of fish on the Shad Cam throughout the spring, including American Shad, Gizzard Shad, Smallmouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, Striped Bass , walleye, short-headed sandpiper and sea lamprey.

You can watch the Shad Cam here and access more information about fish activity and the dam. Keep in mind that the busiest period of the migration is yet to come.

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