Written by Jen Finn
Work crews on Monday will begin taking down the Veazie Dam, the lowest barrier on the Penobscot River and the second dam to be removed as part of a river restoration effort that has gained international attention.
When the project is completed in two years, sea-run fish -- such as salmon, sturgeon, alewives and shad -- will have significantly improved access to about 1,000 miles of upstream habitat.
By next year's spring migration, fish will swim unimpeded from the Atlantic Ocean to the Milford Dam, where they will be lifted over the dam by a state-of-the-art fish elevator now under construction. By 2015, after a fish passage around the Howland Dam is completed, fish will have access to prime habitat in the Piscataquis, Mattawamkeag, and Pleasant rivers and the East Branch of the Penobscot River.
"I think it's going to generate a lot of excitement when people start seeing these fish that belong in the system," said Laura Rose Day, executive director of the Penobscot River Restoration Trust, the group behind the effort.
In terms of the number of species that would benefit and the amount of habitat that would be gained, it is the largest river restoration project involving dam removal in U.S. history.
The river has been dammed at Veazie since a dam was first erected in 1833 to power a sawmill. The 32-foot-high Veazie Dam was built 100 years ago to generate electricity.
A temporary dam called a cofferdam has been built behind the Veazie Dam, allowing work crews easier access to the Veazie Dam as they tear it down.
Read the full story at the Kennebec Journal>>
The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:
The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.Read more...
Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.
Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.Read more...