In the Spring of 2017, Rutgers Professor Olaf Jensen and his research team installed a streaming camera system at the Island Farm Weir fish ladder to help understand the impact of dams and weirs on spawning migrations of American Shad (Alosa sapidissima) and river herring (A. pseudoharengus and A. aestivalis). Since the removal of the Calco Dam in 2011, the Island Farm Weir in Bound Brook, NJ is the first obstacle diadromous fish encounter in their migration up the Raritan River.
According to Dr. Jensen, the fish cam project supplements an ongoing effort to monitor the passage of shad and river herring through the weir. The project currently monitors fish passage using a combination of Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tagging and a closed circuit video system (see related blog on the PIT Tagging Study). Each spring the project recruits undergraduate students and local volunteers to assist in the capture and tagging of American shad and river herring using a number of methods. The project is well known among local anglers, and has a strong following on social media.
Installation of the new state of the art video system allows for a live stream video feed from the fish ladder over the Internet. This presents an excellent opportunity for rapid data collection and to raise public awareness of the many fish species that live in the river and pass through the fish ladder each day.
Funding for the fish cam project is made possible by a mini-grant from the Rutgers Raritan River Consortium with assistance from the New Jersey American Water Company and the New Jersey Water Supply Authority.
Click on the Fish Cam image above to view the live feed and to learn more about the project or go to http://raritanfishcam.weebly.com/.