Two steel fish sculptures were unveiled this week at Grangebel Park in Riverhead to commemorate “World Fish Migration Day” today. The sculptures are part of a newly renovated fish ladder by Long Island Aquarium Exhibit artist Eli Fishman.
The fish ladder system replaced a manmade dam that previously prevented fish passage, according to a release from the Town of Riverhead. The fish passage enables River Herring and American Eels to swim upstream and spawn, opening 24 acres of habitat over 1 1/2 miles of Peconic River.
The Town of Riverhead received a total of $750,00 in grants (state, federal and others) for use in restoring historic fish habitat in Peconic River. American eel populations have experienced drastic declines in recent years, according to a release, and habitat expansion rebuilds the species, as well as the animals in the food chain associated with the fish.
To celebrate “World Fish Migration Day,” the town, along with the Peconic Estuary Program, the Long Island Science Center and state Department of Environmental Conservation will convene this morning at Grangebel Park. Volunteers will help survey parts of Peconic River for river herring and the Long Island Science Center will provide indoor activities focusing on the ecology of the river.