Two fun-filled events this weekend, one beautiful location! The 49th Annual Holyoke Gas & Electric Shad Derby will be held over the next two weekends, May 10th, 11th, 17th, and 18th with a grand prize of $1,000 in cash for the first-place winner in the senior division. In addition, HG&E will honor Mother’s Day with tours and special activities at the Robert E. Barrett Fishway on Sunday, May 11th.
The HG&E Shad Derby invites the region’s anglers to fish the waters of the Connecticut River, by the Holyoke Dam, in a free contest to catch the largest shad. Prizes are awarded to the top 10 catches in each of two divisions: junior (ages 14 & under) and senior (ages 15 & older). Contestants must bring their fish to the official weighing station located by the Fishway, near the Route 116 Bridge, during the official weighing times from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Derby prizes will be awarded to the top 10 contestants in each division at the tournament’s conclusion, on Sunday, May 18th at 5PM. Prior to fishing, contestants should register at the weighing booth by the Holyoke Fishlift. Contestants in the senior division must have a valid fishing license.
Both HG&E Shad Derby contestants and the general public are welcome to visit the Robert E. Barrett Fishway at the Holyoke Dam. The Barrett Fishway is the original, and the most successful fishlift on the Atlantic coast. It consists of two elevators, or “lifts”, which carry migrating fish up and over the Holyoke Dam, aiding them in their return to the freshwaters of their birth to lay eggs.
All mothers visiting the Fishway on Sunday, May 11th from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., will receive a free carnation to commemorate Mother’s Day and the spirit of re-birth on the Connecticut River. There will also be family activities throughout the day.
Admission is free, and the Fishway is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday, until June 15th. The Fishway is also open on Memorial Day.