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Children from Sullivan Elementary School viewing fish migration at the Fishway.

Robert E. Barrett Fishway

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Fishway Closed - 2021 Season

The health and safety of our customers and employees is HG&E's top priority. Our team is actively monitoring the evolving situation with COVID-19 (coronavirus) and following guidance from local, state, and federal agencies. With this in mind, we have made the difficult decision to restrict public access to the fishway in 2021 and the shad derby will be cancelled.

About the Fishway

Each spring when the shadbush blooms, American Shad, Sea Lamprey, Atlantic Salmon and other anadromous fish swim up the Connecticut River as they begin their annual spring migration. Driven by their evolutionary instincts, adult fish return to spawn in the rivers of their birth.

The fishlift at HG&E’s Robert E. Barrett Fishway helps migrating fish over the dam. It was the first and most successful fish lift on the Atlantic coast.  It consists of two elevators or “lifts” which carry migrating fish up and over the Holyoke dam.

Educational Materials

HG&E has developed a variety of educational materials that can be accessed remotely to compliment your fishway and Connecticut River lessons. Please visit the links below for more details.


The Robert E. Barrett Fishway is staffed by knowledgeable and friendly guides who are available to share information about anadromous fish and restoration efforts.

The Barrett Fishway offers free educational programs for schools. Reservations for school groups are required.  The public is welcome during hours of operation for self-guided tours, no reservations are required.

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Contact Information

Robert E. Barrett Fishway
Email | (413) 536-9460