The live-stream camera at the Bosher’s Dam fishway is up and running, and you can see all kinds of migratory fish making their way up the river. Hickory shad, American shad, carp, sea lamprey, blue catfish, and other species can be spotted. We’ve even seen a rainbow trout and a muskrat on camera!
In recent decades, populations of American shad, alewife, blueback herring, and other anadromous fish species have experienced declines in Virginia with mixed restoration success. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR), in collaboration with a number of other partners, has been working to bring back these fish, mostly by restoring access to historic spawning areas throughout Virginia. In the James River, American shad were known to spawn as far upstream as Eagle Rock until two sets of dams, in Lynchburg and Richmond, cut off over 400 miles of the river and tributaries.
In 1999, a fishway was constructed at Bosher’s Dam, providing fish with access to 137 miles of the James River and 168 miles of its major tributaries for the first time since 1823. A camera at the fishway provides visitors a peek into this incredible journey as the fish return to spawn in the spring. Learn more about the viewing window and what you are seeing.