The Vianney-Legendre Fishway is a unique fish ladder situated on the Richelieu River that helps fish reclaim their habitat by enabling them to bypass the Saint-Ours Dam. Parks Canada constructed the fish ladder in 2001 as part of ongoing efforts to protect biodiversity and help protect species at risk within the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site. Prior to the fish ladder’s construction, a dam built in 1967 had hindered the migratory routes of numerous fish species attempting to travel upstream to their spawning area, including the endangered Copper Redhorse.
The fish ladder’s unique design has gained worldwide recognition. Today, 36 of the 60 species historically known to have travelled along the Richelieu River, including the Copper Redhorse, are once again migrating to their spawning area upstream from the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site.