Maine’s Great Works Dam Comes Down, Opening the River to Atlantic Salmon


Written by: Phil Monahan

A project that Orvis supported through major grant programs in 2008 and 2009 is finally coming to fruition, as removal of the Great Works Dam on Maine’s Penobscot River has begun. The removal of the dam will open thousands of miles of habitat to anadromous fishes and specifically help to bring back Atlantic salmon:

The Penobscot River’s once-abundant runs of salmon, shad, sturgeon, alewives, eels and smelt were nearly wiped out because for years the dams — there are three in the river’s first 10 miles alone — impeded migrations to their spawning grounds. “Returning these species of fish to their historic habitat, we will see the river continue to come back to life in a major way,” Mr. Francis said.

The river has a long way to go, and there are other dams that need to come out, but this is a great leap forward for habitat restoration.

Click here for the full story.

Click here for the Orvis “Restore the Penobscot” page.


The Great Works Dam, in Old Town, Maine, will be gone by November.

photo via Bangor Daily News

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