Along with other members of my rowing club, the Blood Street Sculls, I spent much of last summer moaning about a project to rebuild the dam where Rogers Lake here spills down to become Mill Brook, on route to Long Island Sound and the sea. Construction required dropping the lake level by more than two feet, and that increased the risk for rowers of scraping the bottom or spilling ignominiously on an unexpectedly low patch.

Now, though, the dam is finished, and starting this month, alewives, also known as river herring, are climbing the new fish ladder around the dam so they can return to Rogers Lake from their feeding grounds at sea. The work is part of a coastwide effort to remove or bypass dams in the hope of restoring the alewives to their former glory.