Link to Powerpoint file "Accomplishment 2003" (ppt - 1.48MB)
Link to "Project Summary" (pdf - 90KB)
September - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Co-Sponsors On-Site Workshop to Educate Partners on Restoring Aquatic Connectivity by Utilizing Stream Simulation Design Methods.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Maine Fisheries Complex sponsored a collaborative multiple agency and private landowner educational opportunity/field workshop on improving fish (aquatic) passage via stream simulation design. This unique workshop was spawned by a USFWS cooperative agreement with the non-profit group Project SHARE (Salmon Habitat and River Enhancement, www.salmonhabitat.org).
The on-site workshop included an actual culvert replacement, that showcased collaborative efforts in performing aquatic passage design and timely Endangered Species permitting that culminated in a stream habitat restoration project that will improve Atlantic salmon and Brook trout passage in Maine’s Machias River basin.
The Sept. 21st field workshop included presentations from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Maine Fishery Resources Office (East Orland), USFWS Maine Ecological Services Field Office (Old Town), Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission, Maine Land Use Regulatory Commission, Maine Forest Service, Project SHARE and the commercial landowner. Participants in the group activities also included biologists from the USFWS Gulf of Maine Project Office (Falmouth), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries (Orono). The on-site presentations were performed in concert with the removal of a fish barrier (perched undersized culvert) and construction of a bottomless arched culvert that was designed through the group’s knowledge of stream simulation modeling.
The Service recognizes Project SHARE for their substantial efforts in organizing a week long fish passage training-workshop in June 2005. This workshop provided training and on-the-ground experience to staff from state and federal agencies as well as industry and private interest groups with the scientific knowledge that was required to design this particular road crossing structure by means of the stream simulation design protocol. With this training and knowledge, the group’s participants will be more apt to make timely and environmentally justified decisions that will undoubtedly aid in the recovery efforts of federally listed Gulf of Maine Atlantic salmon by improving aquatic connectivity at degraded stream crossings.
In testament to the quality and longevity of the group’s stream simulation culvert design and construction, one must consider the severe flooding events that have deluged Downeast Maine shortly after this project’s completion. After several bankfull channel flood events, including one (Oct. 10) that resulted in a flood event that exceeded 41 of 66 years of annual peak flow measurements in the Machias River, the arched culvert remains intact and the stream bottom continues to retain design characteristics of the adjacent measured reference channel.
October - Maine Fishery Resources Office Colloborates to Explore Origin of Native Artic Charr in Maine.
The Maine Fishery Resources Office (MEFRO) recently collaborated with the University of Maine by providing outreach materials at the Green Lake National Fish Hatchery Open House (Aug. 27th) that educated patrons on the native fish community in Green Lake. The main feature of the poster was to inform the public that Green Lake is one of only twelve lakes in Maine that contain relic populations of Arctic charr. Other objectives were to display historic pictures and present information regarding the possibility that Arctic charr could have been introduced from the old Green Lake Station Federal Hatchery that was in operation between 1891-1923. This historic hatchery was located 3.5 northwest of the current facility.
Our research showed that historic records housed at the Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery library indicate that 31,774 Arctic charr fry and 10 adults were stocked in the Green Lake basin during the period of 1896, and 1897-99. The origin of these transfers were exclusively from Floods Pond, a nearby well-known Arctic charr lake.
The Maine Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife (MDIFW) Arctic charr Management Plan (2001) presumes that this population is native to Green Lake and current MDIFW records indicate that the last documented Arctic charr sampling in the lake took place in 1997, when 4 of these charr were captured.
Our interactions with the public during the Open House indicated that most home owners residing on the lake did not know that Arctic charr existed in their lake. Enthusiasm from these landowners prompted MEFRO and molecular biologists from the University of Maine to undertake a non-lethal sampling effort to resolve the controversy on the origin of Arctic charr in Green Lake. To help reduce costs in our sampling efforts, a Green Lake resident kindly offered to provide lake access as well as lodging for our group.
Our sampling effort utilized the same methodology (same traps and locations) as previous non-lethal Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife charr collection efforts. Previous MDIFW efforts resulted in 2 Arctic charr (0.5 charr/trap/24hr soak) with overnight soaks utilizing 4 traps. The consequent results of our 3 independent sets (Sep 17 + 18, Oct 6), utilizing 4 traps per set, corresponded to 340 hours of soak time which yielded no Arctic charr.
If MEFRO funding exists, our next sampling effort would take place in mid June of 2006, because this is the time period that previous MDIFW efforts caught Arctic charr. Until then, the controversy on the natural origin of this native Maine charr remains a mystery.