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118. Grand Rapids Fish Ladder

April 28, 2011

The Grand Rapids Fish Ladder is pretty amazing thing to watch. Fish climbing a ladder? The Sixth Street dam near downtown Grand Rapids prevents migratory fish such as salmon and steelhead from moving up and down the Grand River. However, on the west side of the river, a series of stair-step concrete pools called a fish ladder has been constructed to allow these fish to bypass the dam on their journey upstream toward Lansing. A specially designed viewing structure allows visitors to see fish as they pass by. Parking is available adjacent to the fish ladder and also nearby on the street.

The fish ladder at this site was designed and built with fish viewing in mind. Visitors can view several fish species put on quite a show as they “climb” the ladder by jumping from pool to pool. Large steelhead may be seen at this site in the spring, while coho and chinook salmon are best viewed in early fall. Other species such as carp might be viewed here any time of year. Carp are very vigorous jumpers that provide spectacular entertainment.

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