Fish need to move upstream and downstream through rivers to complete their life cycles. Despite the fact that fishways are the most commonly applied solution to recover longitudinal connectivity, they are not considered viable for downstream migration. Therefore, alternative facilities are recommended to facilitate downstream migration. However, a few recent studies have disagreed with this general assumption, showing the potential for bidirectional movements. This study advances our understanding of the potential of fishways for downstream migration by studying their efficiency in a run-of-the-river hydropower plant in the Duero River (Spain). To achieve this, downstream movements of the Iberian barbel (n = 299) were monitored in a stepped fishway for two years with passive integrated transponder (PIT)-tag technology, considering the effect of fish origin and release zone. The results showed that 24.9% of barbels descended through the fishway, with the origin and release zone affecting the fishway location. In addition, downstream movements were observed throughout the whole year, except in winter. The study concludes that, under specific scenarios, fishways could act as safe alternative routes for downstream migration.