Massachusetts – Maine Dam Removals

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NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) recently announced that the agency will provide funding for a variety of habitat restoration projects in Maine and Massachusetts.

The projects will open up hundreds of miles of stream habitat to Atlantic salmon, striped bass, American shad, river herring, American eels, and other species of migratory fish.

Several projects include actions that were recommended in recovery plans for a number of endangered fish species. Three projects in Massachusetts will restore critical spawning and nursery areas for river herring while another in Maine will open fish passage to Atlantic salmon and forage fish.

Restoration efforts will include:

Plymco and Holmes Dams ($525,000)

The removal of these two dams will conclude more than a decade of work by NOAA and its partners to remove all barriers to fish along Town Brook, in Plymouth, MA. It creates the potential for restoring a herring run of over 500,000 fish. Currently, the run has been measured at roughly 150,000, which is largely sustained by trucking the fish around the dams. Award recipient: Town of Plymouth, MA

West Britannia and Barstows Pond Dams ($77,660)

Once these dams in Taunton, MA are removed, fish will have full access to habitat from Narragansett Bay to headwater pond habitats (36 miles and 400 acres). A river herring run of more than 100,000 fish is anticipated. The removals will also eliminate the public safety threat associated with the aging dams. Award recipient: Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game

Penobscot, East Machias, and Androscoggin watersheds ($174,000)

Several projects, including the removal of inappropriately-designed culverts and the installation of fish ladders, will open up fish passage in the Penobscot, East Machias, and Androscoggin watersheds in Maine. An estimated 10,000 lake acres and 160 river miles will be made accessible to Atlantic salmon and forage fish such as alewife and blueback herring. Award recipient: Atlantic Salmon Federation

Penobscot River, ME ($365,000)

Funding for removal of the Veazie Dam and environmental monitoring of the river. NOAA has already invested roughly $21 million towards a multi-year plan, developed in close collaboration with partners, to restore fish habitat on the Penobscot River.

Herring River Estuary ($300,000)

Design and permitting of the Herring River estuarine restoration project in Wellfleet and Truro, MA that could restore roughly 1,000 acres and more than 11 miles of estuarine and river habitat for bluefish, summer flounder, scup, striped bass, and river herring. Award recipient: Friends of Herring River, Wellfleet/Truro, Inc.

source: NOAA Fisheries