Dam Bustin' [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Dam Bustin'

Topher Browne
01-06-2004, 10:06 PM
As reported in the Winter 2003 Issue of the Atlantic Salmon Journal:

"Pennsylvania Power & Light will sell the Veazie, Great Works and Howland Dams on the lower Penobscot River for $25 million to a partnership comprised of the State of Maine, the Penobscot Indian Nation, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and a coalition of conservation organizations, including the Atlantic Salmon Federation.

"Upon completion of the sale, the Veazie and Great Works Dams will be removed while the Howland Dam will be decommisioned and provided with a natural fish bypass channel. To make up for the loss of hydro-power at these dams, PPL will be allowed to increase generation at other dams it owns in the Penobscot River watershed."

Said Andrew Goode, Vice President of U.S. Operations for the Atlantic Salmon Federation, "The proposed decommisioning of three dams on the Penobscot River represents the last, best chance for saving wild Atlantic salmon in the United States, and is one of the most significant projects in ASF's 50-year history."

1,114 Atlantic salmon reached the counting station at the Veazie Dam by mid-October 2003. Penobscot salmon represent the only significant population of Atlantic salmon left in the United States of America.

The Atlantic Salmon Federation is a non-profit, conservation organization headquartered in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada. To read more about salmon conservation, go to: www.asf.ca

01-06-2004, 11:40 PM
That is some awesome news Topher!

So within our lifetimes we may have a spectacular C&R clave on the Penobscot. :) Even if it doesn't recover to that point in our lifetimes we can take great satisfaction that despite the country's environmental woes an American atlantic salmon run grows stronger every day!

01-07-2004, 09:02 AM
Great news Topher!

Six years ago I lived in Orono, ME for the summer. I used to cruise over to the Veazie Dam after work (maybe even while I should have been at work) and try for Atlantics in the pools below the dam.

The funny thing is that one day when I went to the dam I started catching loads of striped bass! Now I am a striper addict. I never did catch a salmon below the dam but I did rotate out of a pool and I saw a fine gentleman hook into a beauty. He lost it at his feet but I witnessed an amazing fight in a fairly strong current. The salmon bettered the angler on this day but I will never forget it.

The Penobscot is a pretty river and there will be some great stretches to fish above the dam as soon as it is removed.

I was always surprised that stripers congregated in large numbers below the dam. I wonder how far upriver they will travel when the dam is gone.


01-07-2004, 09:05 AM
Even though it was very crowded, some of my fondest memories are of salmon fishing on the Penobscot in the 1980's. I never caught a fish, but I met a number of really nice people, many of whom were really extraordinary fishermen. It was a grteat asset to the State of Maine and the Northeast US.

Unfortunately, the high point was in the early 1980's, and the fishery declined very rapidly after about 1987. I am looking forward to the next step in reviving the fishery.

Pat Bahan
01-31-2004, 04:27 PM
If We come up with the money to make it happen. I renewed my ASF dues.:cool: