Conservation group removing barrier to salmon on Maine river
A salmon conservation group plans to remove an old hydropower station straddling the Dennys River in Maine so more alewives and Atlantic salmon can make their way upstream into Meddybemps Lake.
The abandoned hydroelectric station, built in the 1940s, sits over an artificially narrowed bottleneck in the river in Washington County.
Work on removing the structure, which does not impound any water, is expected to begin Monday, the Bangor Daily News reported.
The project is expected to allow hundreds of thousands of alewives to repopulate the lake and to support a commercial alewife fishery in the river, as well as to help sustain the river’s ecosystem, according to the Downeast Salmon Federation.
The salmon federation is still raising funds needed to finish the project, which it hopes to complete in 2021.
The work will entail removing the generator, turbines and upper portions of the powerhouse straddling the river, and then reshaping the river bottom and banks to improve fish passage.
A separate dam further upstream, where a fishway already is located, will not be affected by the restoration project downstream, and the project will not affect water levels on the lake, officials said.