Martinsville Fish Dam on Smith River
Locality: Martinsville City
Just down river from Route 966 (Rives Road) Bridge
Martinsville, VA 24112
Martinsville fish dam (fish weir) is one of few such Native American structures of its type remaining in the state - several along Smith River. The dam is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Dam is not publicly accessible by land and must be viewed from river.
Structure consists of stones piled in the bed of the river to form a low V-shaped wall or dam extending from bank to bank with the apex of the V pointing downstream. The dam was originally likely a foot or more high. The apex of the V was left open, and a basket was held there to trap fish as they swam with the current and were funneled into the basket.
Partially exposed when the river is low and is in a good state of preservation and was likely associated with nearby Native American village.
Located just upstream of Mile Marker 24 (Dan River Navigation Atlas).