Robert E. Barrett Fishway

About the Fishway

Each spring when the shadbush blooms, American Shad, Sea Lamprey, Atlantic Salmon and other anadromous fish swim up the Connecticut River as they begin their annual spring migration. Driven by their evolutionary instincts, adult fish return to spawn in the rivers of their birth.

The fishlift at HG&E’s Robert E. Barrett Fishway helps migrating fish over the dam. It was the first and most successful fish lift on the Atlantic coast.  It consists of two elevators or “lifts” which carry migrating fish up and over the Holyoke dam.

Fishway Closed- 2024 Season

The Robert Barrett Fishway will be closed to the public in 2024 for required maintenance and construction activities. Similar to other large hydro generating facilities, HG&E’s units require a complete disassembly and rehabilitation every 30-40 years. Hadley Unit No. 2 was originally commissioned in 1984 and several components are nearing the end of their expected lifespan and need replacement. This enhancement will assist the Department in delivering low-cost, reliable, and carbon-free power.

While our fishway team will miss seeing visitors this spring, HG&E will continue to manage fish passage in accordance with Project guidelines. Additionally, please review the educational resources below as well as opportunities that you might want to take advantage of in lieu of your annual fishway tour, including:

Holyoke Heritage State Park

Great Falls Discovery Center

Turners Falls Fishway

Educational Materials

HG&E has developed a variety of educational materials that can be accessed remotely to compliment your fishway and Connecticut River lessons. Please visit the links below for more details.


Seasonal Contact Info

Robert Barrett Fishway
1-3 County Bridge
Holyoke, MA 01040
Tel: (413) 536-9460
Email the Fishway