St. Croix River Alewives Get a Pass
April 30, 2013
The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) reports that after 18 years, Maine alewives can finally swim freely into their ancestral habitat on the St. Croix River in Maine.
The following is from a CLF newsletter:
“On Monday, April 22, with little fanfare, legislation that essentially repeals a Maine law passed in 1995 that has prevented alewives from using existing fish ladders to surmount the Woodland and the Grand Falls Dams on the St. Croix. The law comes into force without the usual fanfare because Governor LePage refused to sign it but also couldn’t veto it in light of its overwhelming support in the Legislature.”
“This victory caps a 2-year effort by CLF advocates to restore a fishery that numbered close to 3 million
before the 1995 law closed the fish ladder and the number of alewives dwindled to less than 10,000. The alewife, an anadromous fish that lives in the ocean but travels up rivers each spring to spawn, is a “keystone species” that provides food for many animals, birds and larger fish species native to Maine’s marine and fresh waters.”
“It’s a historic moment,” Rep. Madonna Soctomah, who represents the Passamaquoddy Tribe in support of the legislation, was quoted as saying in the Portland Press Herald. “It’s a really good day for Maine people and the environment.”
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