Postcard of the St-Vincent de Paul dam, property of Denise Labrecque, circa 1930.
The construction of a generating station changed the habits of the animals in the area. One species present in the Des Prairies River is the American shad. The fish spends most of the year in the Atlantic Ocean, but swims up the Des Prairies River to spawn in fresh water. The dam completely altered its life. Young American shad swimming down the river get through without a problem, but not the adults. Hydro-Québec now stops the turbines when large schools of American shad pass through to reduce the number of injured fish. However, the dam is great for recreational fishing. The site is so well known for this species that a stretch of the riverbank between the dam and the Pie IX Bridge is named the “berge de l’Alose” [American shad bank].