Jan 18, 2006

Maine eels huggers gain public hearing!

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.


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Rikki said...

I didn't realize Maine's tidal rivers still had any eels/elvers left ... good news, I guess. I figured the migrant (sea) farmers who depleted the urchin stocks in the early-mid 90s, and who turned to elver netting in the late 90s had caught them all. Where I used to see nets near-permanently installed in the inter-tidal zones of the Sheepscot and Medomak Rivers for a few years, they no longer exist. I figured this meant that the well done run dry ...

I'm glad to hear that a conservation movement has been established and that it isn't too late.

I don't blog much about the fisheries, but stop on by sometime for random views from a Rocklander.