New Plunge Pool Increases River Herring Survival at Maine Dam

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NOAA Fisheries - New England - Mid Atlantic Bulletin

January 13, 2021

New Plunge Pool Increases River Herring Survival at Maine Dam

We are working with the dam owners to improve fish passage for river herring and American eels on a tributary of the Kennebec River in Gardiner, Maine.

From 2014 through 2019, NOAA Fisheries staff from the Greater Atlantic Region consulted on the relicensing of the American Tissue Dam. As part of the Federal Power Act, NOAA Fisheries may require fish passage at federally licensed dams, which was the case for this dam. 

In order to comply with this requirement, Kruger Energy Inc. was busy this summer and fall constructing a new and improved downstream fishway. When migrating fish pass over a notch in the dam, they will now enter a well-designed plunge pool. The pool does a better job reducing fish mortality than the old plunge pool, particularly for the small juvenile river herring.

Additional passage improvements to this project will include an eel ramp to help juvenile eels migrate upstream. A submerged pipe will help adult eels headed downstream to get up and over the dam and back down to the river channel safely. With these fish passage improvements, we are optimistic that restoration of fisheries resources in Cobboseecontee Stream can succeed.

New plunge pool at the base of the dam

Newly constructed plunge pool at the base of the dam will improve fish survival. Credit: Steve Brooke

Read the whole story on our website.


Media: Contact Jennifer Goebel, Regional Office, 978-281-9175