Dam Removals on the Penobscot

Over ten species of sea run fish, including the Atlantic salmon and striped bass, are now able to migrate past 3 decommissioned or removed dams to their traditional spawning grounds on the Penobscot River in Maine. These fish haven’t been able to reach some of these waters since 1834.

The Penobscot River Restoration Project has been working towards this for over a decade now. The Penobscot Trust – an independent collaboration of conservation groups and the Penobscot Indian Nation – was able to secure the funds needed to purchase Great Works Dam, Veazie Dam, and Howland Dam in 2010. Great Works and Veazie were removed, and a fish bypass was installed around Howland Dam earlier this year.

The fish bypass around Howland Dam (Photo by Josh Royte/ TNC Lighthawk)

The project allows multiple species of sea run fish back into their native habitat. American shad and other species of herring have been counted in the thousands since the removal of the dams.

Head to TroutUnlimited.org for more information (there’s a lot more information).

Cover image of the Great Works Dam removal from UMaine