400,000 baby shad poured in Rivanna
Schoolchildren with buckets helped pour about 400,000 shad hatchlings into the Rivanna River yesterday, an event that presages the impending demolition of the Woolen Mills dam, an effort to give back to the American shad its hisoric spawning waters.According to WINA radio, the tiny fish have been marked with a chemical on their ear bones that identifies them as hatchery-born, and the re-stocking was co-sponsored by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Rivanna Conservation Society.
As previously reported in the Hook, the Society has long lobbied to breach the 1830 Woolen Mills dam so the shad can return to spawning waters it hasn't seen in nearly 200 years. However, the demolition plan ignited a fierce debate over the change to the Rivanna River and whether the shad will truly gain much new territory. Demo proponents say the claims are all wet.