One of hundreds of dams in Maine (photo © Zip Kellogg)
View updated stream flow conditions on Maine rivers (USGS data).
|Although dams in Maine have provided benefits such as electrical power, improved navigation, and flood control, they've also taken a heavy toll on river life. The Atlantic salmon, which once thrived in dozens of rivers throughout the state, began disappearing as dams blocked their access to spawning areas. Today these treasured fish are now on the brink of extinction.|
the return of Alewives in the Kennebec
River--less than one year after Edwards dam was removed.
Many of the state's dams are antiquated and
provide little or no benefit. In a landmark decision, the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently declined to renew the permit for
Edwards Dam on the Kennebec River, concluding that dam's detrimental
impact on the river outweighed its marginal electrical generation. Last summer the dam was breached, and soon striped bass
and other fish began returning to areas upstream where they had not been
There is growing pressure from
environmentalists, the fishing community, and the general public to
remove superfluous dams. The Smelt Hill dam on the lower Presumpscot
river is slated to be removed as early as this coming fall.