This project was funded in FY2022 through the National Fish Habitat Partnership.
The project will restore access to 8,960 acres and 137 miles of stream habitat for alewives and other diadromous fish species through the installation of a pool and weir fishway at the Baskahegan Dam.
The dam is a complete barrier to fish passage and blocks access to a substantial amount of habitat for sea-run fish species. For the first time in two centuries, alewives have been observed at the base of the dam each of the last four years. The proposed fishway will allow agencies to meet fisheries management goals for the watershed while maintaining the significant inland wading bird and waterfowl habitat created by the dam. This project builds on the tremendous success of a 30-year federal/state/tribal/NGO effort to improve habitat and restore abundant, self-sustaining populations of diadromous fish throughout the Penobscot watershed.
Over time, a self-sustaining run of more than 2 million alewives is anticipated that will have far-ranging, positive ecological, social, and economic benefits throughout the watershed all the way down to Penobscot Bay and the Gulf of Maine.
This project is led by the Atlantic Salmon Federation, and partners include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, NOAA Fisheries, Maine Department of Marine Resources, the Town of Danforth, The Nature Conservancy in Maine, and the Baskahegan Dam Company (landowner).
Text and photos provided by Atlantic Salmon Federation.