Monitoring of salmon passing downstream and those returning from the ocean has shown that dams continue to be barriers to migration, and may cause high mortality. ASF is actively working to reduce the impact of dams on wild salmon.
In Maine, ASF is committed to the Penobscot Restoration Project that includes dismantling two major dams, and major modifications of a third. For more information, CLICK HERE. The Great Works Dam (see photo this page) is to be dismantled beginning in early 2012.
In Quebec, ASF provided advice on the proposed Romaine River hydro scheme on the Quebec North Shore, near the Labrador border. Click here for Backgrounder (English) or for the Hydro dams cause problems in a number of ways:
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- There may be inadequate downstream passage for smolts
- There may be poorly designed or poorly maintained salmon ladders to allow return migration
- Accidental problems at fish traps on salmon ladders have occasionally led to significant mortality events
- A series of dams will act cumulatively to reduce survival
- In the headpond above a dam, salmon smolt may not even find the dam at the downstream end. ASF research showed this to be happening in the Mactaquac headpond on the Saint John River.
ASF advises on new projects, and works to remove dams where they are no longer needed, or where they are a significant hazard to migrating fish.
ASF has a major project underway in Maine, on the Penobscot River. The Penobscot Project would see a restoration of the river, including the dismantling of the two lowermost barriers - the Veazie Dam and Great Works Dam - and improvements in fish passage above.