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Two More Dams On Maine's Penobscot River To Come Down In 2013

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-24-11 08:49 AM
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Two More Dams On Maine's Penobscot River To Come Down In 2013

BASCOMB: After years of negotiations, the group came up with a deal that will remove two dams and install a state of the art fish passage on a third. To offset power lost when the two dams are removed, the utility has already increased production on a smaller tributary. A dam on one branch thats been idle for 10 years is now up and running again, producing 30,000 megawatts of electricity. Ultimately, the utility will be producing the same amount of energy as before the project began.

DAY: We hope that that is one thing that this project provides is an example of how people can work together and not only reach an agreement, but really make it stick. Basically, theyll be increasing power in less ecologically damaging areas than the current dam. So the main stem of the river will be opened up; it will basically be the fish highway.

BASCOMB: Today, the Penobscot is less fish highway and more like a residential street full of speed bumps and potholes. The first obstacle for fish coming in from the Atlantic Ocean is the Veazie Dam. Theres a fishway here, three feet wide. The fish that find it can continue upstream. Those that dont, bump their noses against a cement wall. The Veazie Dam will come down in the summer of 2013, but until then, its ground zero for managing fish on the river.


BASCOMB: But Laura Rose Day says what makes the Penobscot really exceptional is that it still has remnant populations of all 11 species of fish that live in both this river and the sea.

DAY: The reality is that the 100s of millions of river herring that will rebound in the Penobscot River are equally important, because for instance, when a young salmon migrates down, one of their biggest ways to avoid being eaten is to travel down with all of these millions of herring, and if youre the only fish coming down the river, well, the cormorant is going to have you for lunch.

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