Eel defenders Friends of Merrymeeting Bay and won a key victory today when the Maine Board of Environmental Protection (BEP voted to hold a full adjudicated hearing on the impact to American eels of turbines of a hydroelectric dam on the Kennebec River. The eel huggers are asking for immediate down & upstream passage for catadromous eels through dams on that river and the Androscoggin River as well for the movement of anadromous fish.
The BEP decision to hold the meeting went against the recommendations of the Maine DEP staff, so it was a figure that had to be fought for. Happily, as one meeting attendee put it: "The DEP staff, and the dam owners kept digging a deeper and deeper hole for themselves." Let's hope they and DMR which likewise has been silent in the face of the well documented heavy eel slaughter at the turbines, dig a hole big enough to let this important animal pass safely from freshwater Kennebec to the Gulf of Maine. Two fins up for Kathleen McGee, Ed Friedman and the others waging this critical campaign for wild Maine.