Windemere Basin Fishway

Windermere Basin is located at the southeast corner of Hamilton Harbour, at the mouth of Red Hill Creek, and began as a pre-industrial wetland. Aerial photos of the Basin before 1950 show the area as a productive coastal wetland. However, since the 1950’s, the Basin was subjected to contamination by industrial chemicals, sewage overflows, landfill leaks and eroded sediment from Red Hill Creek. Consequently, the Basin became impacted by contamination, and was environmentally degraded.

A Remedial Action Plan was subsequently developed, and identified that “Degradation of habitat, including the loss of 65% of Hamilton Harbour fish and wildlife habitat, has been identified as one of the causes resulting in the reduction or loss of colonial waterbirds and certain fish populations”.

The wide scope of this project included the installation of a fishway structure to provide access to the wetland during the majority of the warm water timing window for desirable fish species such as northern pike, large-mouth bass, and white sucker, while excluding Common Carp.

This structure was assembled using (12) individual custom precast trough sections anchored to a cast-in-place structure. Precast concrete was chosen as the preferred solution to reduce the on-site construction scope and further advance the construction schedule. Precast elements were formed and cured in a controlled indoor environment while crews on-site simultaneously excavated and prepared the site.