Royal Botanical Gardens Fishway

The Fishway

Located at the mouth of the Desjardins Canal—the only channel that connects Cootes Paradise and Hamilton Harbour—the Fishway is the Great Lakes' first two-way fishway and carp barrier, and is one of the most visible indicators of the progress of Project Paradise.

The Fishway began operating in 1997. It is designed to keep non-native carp out of Cootes while maintaining the flow of water and populations of native aquatic species.

Before the installation of the Fishway, Cootes Paradise had an estimated carp population of about 70,000 adults. During the Fishway's first year of operation, 95% of carp were excluded from the marsh, and since then this number has continued to drop, with monitoring in recent years consistently finding less than 1,000 adult carp in the marsh.

Eliminating carp from Cootes Paradise is considered a vital first step in the marsh restoration process.

Photo and text Copywrite: Royal Botanical Gardens Fishway


Location 330 Macklin St. Hamilton Ontario L8S 4C5
Dates & Accessibility Park is open all year round - Fish is open from March to end September - Lift times vary by month and year and can be found at
Costs Free admission
Organization Royal Botanical Gardens