News, Press, and Announcements

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The Alewives Argument
July 14 2012 Portland Press Herald

The Washington County fight to open up the St. Croix River to millions of alewives has brought together a once-divided tribe, created foes among inland smallmouth bass interests and mobilized advocates on just about every jurisdictional level. Now, a fish's fate – and a county's – hangs on what happens next.



Feds end Connecticut River salmon
CNBC July 12

MONTPELIER, Vt. - The federal government is ending its conservation effort to restore Atlantic salmon in the Connecticut River basin because the nearly half-century old program that has stocked about 100 million small fish in tributaries throughout western New England is not working well enough to justify the continued cost, an official said Wednesday.



photoCan tiny boats help scientists learn about salmon?
By Abigail Curtis, Bangor Daily News
Posted March 22, 2012, at 5:27 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — With a gentle splash, the two small, unmanned sailboats dropped into the water Thursday morning off a dock at Front Street Shipyard under the watchful eyes of scientists from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Read more.

Hydroelectric project, opposition efforts move forward
January 2, 2012  Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman

The Alaska Energy Authority recently got the ball rolling on a new version of a massive hydroelectric project for the Susitna Valley. The state agency last week filed a 500-page pre-application document for the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the first step in the licensing and design process. Read more


Shiny Patches in Maine’s Streambeds Are Bright Sign for Salmon

New York Times December 26, 2011salmon
More than 3,100 salmon returned to the Penobscot River, the most since 1986, and nearly 200 ascended the Narraguagus River, up from the low two digit s just a decade ago. But while this year’s comeback has been a welcome surprise for conservationists and environmental officials, scientists caution that the long-term picture is still cloudy — and that much could depend on factors far from Maine. Read more.


Finesville Dam removed, freeing Musconetcong River, angering some
Lehigh Valley Live  November 13 2011

Workers from Gleim Environmental Group begin Thursday removing the Finesville Dam on the Musconetcong River, along Mount Joy Road between Pohatcong and Holland townships in Pennsylvania. Grodin who owns the property adjacent to the dam and said the dam is being removed as part of an agreement to sell his building on Mount Joy Road. He cites people dying and liability as the main reasons he contacted the Musconetcong Watershed Association to have the dam removed. Residents opposed the effort, citing concern about the historical value of the dam, fishing and their personal water wells drying up. Read more.


photoNOAA to Consider Whether Listing River Herring Under Endangered Species Act is Warranted October 2011

NOAA has determined that a petition to list alewife and blueback herring, collectively referred to as river herring, under the Endangered Species Act presents enough scientific and commercial information to merit further review.  As a result, the agency will conduct a formal review of river herring population status and trends. NOAA is seeking available information on these species to inform its formal review.  Click here to read more.

Salmon Adapting to Climate Change
IRISH TIMES, October 26th, 2011

CLIMATE change is contributing to an “alarming” increase in the numbers of wild salmon dying at sea, but there are indications that stock may prove to be more adaptable than man. New evidence shows that the game fish is able to feed at depths normally inhabited by the sperm whale. It is also travelling close to polar ice fields, according to Ireland’s leading expert on wild salmon, Dr Ken Whelan. Read more.


Atlantic Salmon Spring Runs Double in 2011: Penobscot River passes 3,000; 8th highest since program inception October 2011

Atlantic salmon counts from the Veazie trap on the Penobscot River now number 3,097, according to statistics provided by the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR).  The counts are more than double last year’s totals, and represent the eighth highest run since the counting program began in 1978 and the highest since 1986.  For more information:





Petition to List Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) and Blueback Herring (Alosa aestivalis) as Threatened Species and to Designate Critical Habitat

This is a petition to list the alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) and the blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis) each as a threatened species throughout all or a significant portion of its range pursuant to the federal Endangered Species Act (―ESA‖). In the alternative, the National Marine Fisheries Service (―NMFS‖) should designate distinct population segments (―DPSs‖) of alewives and blueback herring as specified in this petition and list each DPS as a threatened species. Alewives and blueback herring (collectively known as ―river herring‖) were once highly abundant in coastal waters, rivers and streams of the eastern United States. From 1950 through 1970, total commercial landings of alewives and blueback herring in Atlantic coastal states averaged more than 50 million pounds per year. Most Atlantic coastal streams and rivers were inhabited by one or both of the species. In the larger rivers, spawning runs could reach well into the millions of individual fish – according to one historical account, three quarters of a billion river herring were landed from the Potomac River in 1832. Read more


lampreyLamprey thriving in Sedgeunkedunk Stream
Bangor Daily News, 24 June 2011

Steve Coghlan Jr. steadfastly clings to his view of sea lamprey as “charismatic” critters that build imp ressive nests and play important roles in healthy stream ecosystems. Unfortunately, the lamprey has an image problem that not even a public relations professional could easily negate. Read Story and view video


“Alewives: A Border Dispute”

CBC, 20 February 2011

Alewives or gaspereau are members of the herring family. But some American fish anglers think the alewives are capable of destroying the Maine smallmouth bass industry. The anglers lobbied the government of Maine to create a law blocking the St. Croix River - preventing alewives from spawning. Problem? The St. Croix isn't Maine's river to block. Much of the river is in Canada. Canada consider alewives vital to the whole ecosystem. As do many scientists and conservation groups. View video


klamathWater restoration plan approved for Klamath River

After more than a decade of state and federal activity, WaterWorldmagazine is reporting that pollution limits have been set for the Klamath River, a federally protected Wild and Scenic River and an affiliate of the National Park Service. The 255-mile river, which flows from Oregon into northern California to the Pacific Ocean, attracted national attention for a massive salmon die-off in 2002.  Efforts were already in the works at that time to put a plan in place to make extraordinary reductions in pollutants including phosphorus, nitrogen, and nutrients that lead to harmful algae blooms.



TRENTON - The Department of Environmental Protection has secured a landmark agreement that will open up a large stretch of the Raritan River for fish spawning as compensation to the public for harm to natural resources caused by past pollution at a refinery and three polymer plants that were operated by or affiliated with the El Paso Corp., Commissioner Bob Martin announced today. Read More


Landmark Purchase of Dams Opens New Chapter for Penobscot River Fisheries
Penobscot River Restoration Trust purchases three dams from PPL Corp.
20 December 2010

Old Town, ME: A new chapter begins for Maine’s Penobscot River with the Penobscot River Restoration Trust taking ownership of the Veazie, Great Works, and Howland dams. This $24 million dollar purchase from PPL is a monumental accomplishment for the historic Penobscot River Restoration Project, an unprecedented agreement among PPL, the Penobscot Indian Nation, federal and state agencies, and seven conservation groups to help restore severely depleted sea-run fisheries while also maintaining hydropower production and offering new community and economic benefits throughout the watershed. Read More


Alewife in Danger
Cape Cod Times, 26 October 2010

"The Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen's Association and the Martha's Vineyard/Dukes County Fisherman's Association, along with some recreational fishermen, have signed on to a federal lawsuit recently filed by Earthjustice, an environmental group, against the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). They demand increased regulations for limiting the taking of river herring by large trawlers. Currently, there is no conservation plan for river herring in federal waters." Read more.


Canadian Wild Atlantic Salmon Assessments – COSEWIC – November 2010
The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) is studying the report by the independent scientific body COSEWIC that provides assessments pertaining to the state of health of wild Atlantic salmon populations throughout eastern Canada. Five wild Atlantic salmon population segments have been assessed as endangered, one as threatened, four as of special concern, one as extinct , four as not at risk and one data deficient.

Read more.


bay of fundy fishSalmon released into Fundy waters

Times Transcript, New Brunswick, Canada, 15 November 2010

ALMA - Wild salmon have returned to spawn in Fundy National Park waters thanks to a salmon recovery project initiated by a national recovery team that includes Fundy National Park ecologists. The project involved collecting juvenile wild salmon considered endangered species in Inner Bay of Fundy waters, rearing them at the Mactaquac Biodiversity Centre operated by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and returning them into the Inner Bay as adult fish ready to spawn. Read More.


NOAA Proposes Five Atlantic Sturgeon mapPopulations for Listing as Endangered or Threatened
NOAA’s Fisheries Service has proposed that five populations of Atlantic sturgeonalong the U.S. East Coast receive protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. The Gulf of Maine population is proposed for listing as threatened, and endangered status is proposed for the Chesapeake Bay, New York Bight, Carolina, and South Atlantic populations. NOAA’s Fisheries Service is accepting comments on the proposed listing through January 4, 2011. NOAA’s Fisheries Service is seeking comment particularly on abundance and distribution, viability, threats, and efforts being made to protect Atlantic sturgeon belonging to these populations.The following is a link to the press release which has links to both the NER and SER proposed rules and places to comment: http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/press_release/2010/News/NR1025/index.html



Maine IFW&W Commissioner Approves Cumberland Mills Dam Fishway

After nearly 125 years, anadromous alewife, blueback herring, and American shad soon will be able to ascend the Presumpscot River to reach historical spawning areas. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner Roland “Danny” Martin has approved a plan for the construction of a fish passage at the Cumberland Mills Dam in Westbrook. The plan is the result of more than three years of negotiations with S.D. Warren Co. d/b/a Sappi Fine Paper North America, owner of the dam, Friends of the Presumpscot River, American Rivers, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the Maine Department of Marine Resources, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. Read More.


Lawsuit seeks protection for herring, shad in East
In Boston Globe September 20, 2010
BOSTON—Populations of river herring and shad are being decimated by commercial fishing along the Eastern seaboard, an environmental group claims in a lawsuit filed Monday against fisheries regulators. Earthjustice demands in the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Washington that the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission develop a plan to protect those species.

Read More.


Fathoming: Ancient Fish, Modern Methods
In  Working Waterfront Sept 2010
Through the static comes a faint, metallic ping! Getting louder now, ping...ping...ping. It is the sound of a shortnose sturgeon, a dinosaur of a fish that is roaming the murky bottom of the Penobscot River Estuary, a species all but forgotten by most people in the area until documentation a few years ago by University of Maine fisheries biologists. Read More


Androscoggin Fish Passage Might Affect More Maine Rivers
By Susan Sharon, MPBN 09/10/2010 
Environmental groups working to restore fish passage on the lower Androscoggin River say a recent finding by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection could have far-reaching implications for the rest of the state of Maine. For the first time, the DEP has said that a river's water quality has been impaired by the long-term failure of fish passage at the Brunswick Dam and groups are hoping that will force the dam owner to make improvements. Read More


“Alewives and the St. Croix River: An Adaptive Management Plan”
has been released by The St Croix International Joint Commission and is available on line at http://www.ijc.org/rel/st-croix-alewife/  The commission will be accepting comments through August 16, 2010.   


"Freeing a River: In Maine, buying dams – and tearing them down – may save Atlantic salmon"
In The Nature Conservancy Magazine, Summer 2010
By Madeline Bodin

"In the chill of a late summer morning, Jan Paul leans over the gunwale of a small boat and submerges a plastic jar into Maine 's Penobscot River . In the stern, Dan Kusnierz drops a gauge over the side. The two water-resource technicians, who work for the Penobscot Indian Nation, are reading the river's vital signs, gathering data to record its temperature, pollution levels and clarity." Read More.


Call for Papers:
The American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) has partnered with Duke University Press to launch Limnology and Oceanography: Fluids and Environments . The online journal, which will explore the link between fluid dynamics and aquatic system processes, will begin publication late this year. Submit manuscripts electronically at www.editorialmanager.com/lofe . Please see the Instructions to Authors for further details on the submission requirements and instructions for preparing the manuscript.


"Hope for Coastal Habitats: People, Partnerships and Projects Making a Difference"
By Restore America's Estuaries

The report focuses on the impact that individuals and small groups have made, and are continuing to make, on the health of our coasts. "Hope for Coastal Habitats" tackles the national coastal conditions thematically, looking at wetlands, shellfish, aquatic vegetation, fish passage, and beach dunes and coastal barrier islands. Each section gives a short overview of the current situation, presents historic trends, and describes promising restoration projects. Read More


The Pros and Cons of Dam Removal
Stormwater May 2010
Editorial by Donald Gray

"Dam removal has become a national crusade of sorts lately. This crusade has helped to fuel growth in a discipline that has evolved into a billion-dollar-a-year river restoration industry. The danger here is that a better understanding of how natural streams work and of the proper goal of restoration are lagging behind. Better not to have built a dam in the first place than to suffer all the downsides of removal." Read More



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