Recently The Nature Conservancy joined a working group led by NOAA to pursue options for better anadromous fish habitat on the Cape Fear River. An anadromous fish is one that is born in fresh water, spends most of its life at sea, then returns to fresh water to spawn. In the Cape Fear River there are several different anadromous fish, like shad, herring, and Atlantic sturgeon.
There are three lock and dams on the Cape Fear River. At lock and dam #1 the Army Corps of Engineers is halfway through on the construction of a fish passage that will allow these anadromous fish to pass the lock and dam and get to spawning grounds. They hope to be finished with the fish passage project in the spring of 2013. The NOAA working group will facilitate decisions for the other two lock and dams in an effort to make them passable for anadromous fish as well.
Lock and dam #3 will most likely be the focus for the next passage as it is the biggest impediment to upstream migration of anadromous fish. The working group is confident that there will be a positive return on fish populations with the installation of these fish passages.