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  • Talk of the Towns 7/10/15

    Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
    Studio Engineer: Joel Mann

    Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

    Program Topic: The Union River, Fish and Dams

    Key Discussion Points:

    1. The Watershed

    What is the watershed of the Union River, and how does it serve/impact the region?

    What do we know about fish in the Union River—historical and present?

    First dams for sawmills and other industry, later for electric power

    2. Current dams and purposes

    ? What is the current ownership of the dams on the Union River… what do we know about

    Brookfield Power and its economic goals for the Union River?

    ? How much power is being generated on the Union River, and how important is this as part of our

    overall energy mix in Maine and the overall power grid?

    ? How important is the Ellsworth Dam to current flood control?

    3. Alewives

    From colonial times, alewives were allowed to be managed at the local level… what measures do the City

    of Ellsworth and it’s partners use to manage alewife populations and catch… explain the trap and truck

    process, who is involved, what is accomplished, what are the drawbacks?

    What is the significance of Alewives to the Passamaquoddy people, and importance of removing barriers,

    on the St Croix river and elsewhere… what work/fisheries research on behalf of the Passamaquoddy Tribe

    connects with the Downeast Fisheries Partnership and others

    4. Relicensing

    ? What agencies have oversight of dams and what do they monitor?

    ? What specifically is the role of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and what is

    the process they are using to consider a request to relicense the dam on the Union River for

    electrical power generation?

    ? Besides the current owner, Brookfield Power, who else is involved in relicensing?

    ? What factors are likely to be considered in the relicensing process? (power generation, fish

    passage, environmental impacts, property values on river and lakes?)

    ? What are some of the likely points of contention, around fish passage up and down the river,

    around water levels in Graham Lake, etc.

    5. Wrapping Up

    ? What is the process going forward and how can citizens learn more?

    ? What hopes do you have for what happens on and around the Union River as a result of the

    relicensing process?


    Dwayne Shaw, Downeast Salmon Federation

    Morris Lambden, Union Salmon Association

    Anne Hayden, Downeast Fisheries Partnership

    Edward Basset, Sipayik Environmental Department Pleasant Point Reservation,

    Alewives, eels, salmon, other species? (life cycles, etc.)

    Passamaquoddy Tribe

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    Published on July 10, 2015 · Filed under: Talk of the Towns; Tagged as: , ,
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