WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Hundreds of people gathered along the Westfield River from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday to watch the American Shad migrate upstream to spawn.

This year, activities coincided with World Fish Migration Day to recognize the ecological, cultural, economic, and recreational importance of fish migration. Community members stopped by the ladder to watch as hundreds of large native fish went on their annual migration. Bypassing the dam to continue up stream.

22News spoke with the president of the Westfield River Water Association about the importance of the ladder.

“If the ladder wasn’t here than the fish population would be much more restricted because they wouldn’t have as much time to reproduce,” said Mark Damon.

The Westfield River Watershed Association sponsored this event which happens every year.