April 25, 2024


Erin Hillert, James River Association

(e)  (c) 608.239.2644

Local Partners Invite You to Celebrate Migratory Fish and Free Flowing Rivers

World Fish Migration Day comes to Richmond on May 4, 2024

RICHMOND, VA – Every two years, the world comes together to pay tribute to free-flowing rivers and  migratory fish. This international phenomenon is known as World Fish Migration Day, and our very own city of Richmond, Virginia, will be hosting an event in honor of this exciting celebration.

As noted on the World Fish Migration Day website, “World Fish Migration Day is a global awareness campaign celebrated every two years to highlight the connections that migratory fishes have with human and non-human species, lands, and waters. This day is marked by celebrations, events, and action campaigns organized by people around the world to connect fish, rivers, and people. World Fish Migration Foundation is the main organizer of World Fish Migration Day, and the theme for 2024 is Free Flow.”

Several local environmental partners including American Rivers, James River Association (JRA), James River Park System (JRPS), Resource Environmental Solutions, LLC (RES), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR), and Virginia Outdoors are coming together from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on May 4 at Ancarrow’s Landing to provide festivities and fish-themed activities for the whole family to enjoy.

This iconic James River park is located right along the James in downtown Richmond, on the south side across from Rocketts Landing, and it serves as the perfect landscape to reflect on the role we play in advocating for free-flowing rivers and their benefits to wildlife.

“World Fish Migration Day is such a unique event, and I am so happy we continue to bring it to Richmond,” said Kathy Hoverman, Senior Project Manager for RES and leader of the World Fish Migration Day planning committee. “The event highlights our local major river, the James, the fish that live in it, and the migratory species that need free flowing rivers and upstream passage to live and reproduce. The Atlantic sturgeon and American shad are both iconic eastern USA migratory species that come into the James River but sadly face many challenges to their existence and migration. This event is a great way to learn about these and other fish and their connection to other organisms in the river, and also learn to fish and participate in other activities.”

Here is a quick list of the fish-filled fun that awaits at the festival:

  • DWR will display a variety of fish collected from the James River in a touch tank. Attendees can get up close and personal with species such as migratory shad, herring, and eels, as well as resident fish such as bass and catfish. DWR will also have a table display with information and free handouts including fish posters, measuring tapes, and stickers.  
  • JRA and USFWS will provide the chance to see live freshwater mussels in tanks and learn about information that highlights the relationship between mussels and migratory fish. USFWS will also offer the chance to do gyotaku, or making art with fish prints, and other family-friendly activities.
  • JRPS will host a walk-up fishing program where participants can grab a rod to do some fishing. 
  • RES will have information on river restoration and dam removal to allow and improve fish migration, as well as bug activities for kids and adults alike. 
  • Virginia Outside, with assistance from Rappahannock Adventures, will host an educational booth and childrens activity with a possible live fish exhibit. Additionally, very young anglers can practice fishing in a small baby pool with plastic fish.

For more information about World Fish Migration Day RVA, visit or follow the organizers on facebook at