Northeast Region Features
Conserving the Nature of America

A woman stands in front of a river with construction equipment and a dam in the background
Wendi Weber stands in front of the Veazie Dam as it is breached.
Credit: Meagan Racey/USFWS

Penobscot River dam removal underscores importance of improving fish passage

July 22, 2013: The breaching of the Veazie Dam on the Penobscot River in Maine today appropriately coincided with the release of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s annual report of the National Fish Passage Program.

The Veazie Dam in Veazie and Eddington, Maine, was among an estimated 74,000 dams and other structures nationwide that impede upstream and downstream passage for native fish.  It blocked passage of Atlantic salmon, American shad, river herring and other native sea-run fish for nearly two centuries.

The dam is owned by the Penobscot River Restoration Trust, which has worked with the Service, the Penobscot Indian Nation, the state of Maine and other partners to remove this barrier to fish passage.

“We could not do this without our partners,” said Northeast Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at today’s event. She also noted the release today of the Service’s National Fish Passage Program annual report.

Since 1999, the program has removed 1,345 fish passage barriers and opened up more than 20,000 miles of streams, supporting more than 200,000 jobs and $11 billion in economic value to local communities.

Coverage and video
Fact sheet
National Fish Passage Program annual report

Published on: Monday, July 22,2013

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