Press Releases

Corps partnerships enhance fish migration

Published March 1, 2012

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District has signed a MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING (MOU) for a cooperative fish passage strategy at the Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam (JWLD) with The Nature Conservancy, US Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to improve opportunities for successful fish migration in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River basin.


The Corps has been working with the partnering agencies since 2005 regarding fish passage strategies for the JWLD.  The MOU among the agencies will facilitate research, monitoring, outreach and related activities for determining the effects of fish passage on migratory fish populations and habitats at JWLD and the ACF River basin.


The fish passage efforts utilize the Corps’ navigation locks at the JWLD during the spring spawning migration runs.  The JWLD is located at the confluence of the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers, and below the dam is the Apalachicola River. The largest remaining populations of Alabama shad and Gulf striped bass live within the Apalachicola River system.


“Since construction in the 1950’s the dam has impeded access to more than 150 miles of historic river and spawning habitat for fish species who live in salt water and spawn in fresh water. The primary objective of this effort is to facilitate movement between fresh water spawning habitat within the ACF basin and the Gulf of Mexico,” public affairs deputy Lisa Coghlan said.


There are minimal additional costs for the Corps to operate and open up the gates twice a day to lock fish through.  Commercial and recreational navigational traffic continues on the river system as well.


“We look forward to the continued work with TNC and the other agencies to enhance fish migration in the ACF,” Coghlan said.

Lisa Parker

Release no. 12-002