The Maine Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office strives to restore fish habitat throughout our rivers in Maine, for freshwater and sea-run migratory fishes, through collaboration with local, state and tribal partners.

What We Do

Since 2005, the Maine Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office has assisted State partners in completing 196 aquatic connectivity projects. These projects restored fish passage fish passage
Fish passage is the ability of fish or other aquatic species to move freely throughout their life to find food, reproduce, and complete their natural migration cycles. Millions of barriers to fish passage across the country are fragmenting habitat and leading to species declines. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Fish Passage Program is working to reconnect watersheds to benefit both wildlife and people.

Learn more about fish passage
and ecological function to more than 650 miles of stream habitat. We removed barriers and replaced them with structures, such as bridges or open-arch culverts that span at least 1.2 times the bank-full width of the natural stream. Nearly all of these restoration efforts have been conducted within designated critical habitat for endangered Atlantic salmon.

Richardson Brook, East Machias River, ME. Replacing an undersized culvert with a 1.2 bankfull spanning bridge

Our Organization

Juvenile Northern Pike in aquarium at Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery, South Dakota
The Fish and Aquatic Conservation program leads aquatic conservation efforts for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We are committed to tackling the nation’s highest priority aquatic conservation and recreational challenges to conserve, restore, and enhance fisheries for future generations.

Our Species

Each spring, hundreds of thousands of fish migrate from the ocean to the rivers in Maine: alewife and blueback herring, American eel, American shad, Atlantic salmon, Atlantic sturgeon, and striped bass. These fish are ecologically, culturally and economically important to the region as an important food source for people, and for other fish and wildlife, including fish and wildlife that people like to eat. Indeed, restoring these important migratory fishes and resident fish, like the eastern brook trout, are priorities for us. We are removing obstacles to migration, and creating fishways so fish can migrate around dams.

River herring

Projects and Research

The project will remove two dams, the Upper Town Dam and the Remnant Mill Dam from the Sabattus River, a tributary to the Androscoggin River in Maine. Both dams will be removed, with bank restoration, stabilization, and revegetation.  These dam removals will eliminate public safety hazards, reduce flooding risk, restore parks and safe access to nature for disadvantaged communities,...

Across the landscape, undersized, aging and improperly placed road-stream crossings create barriers in our rivers, streams, and tidal wetlands. These structures fragment aquatic habitat and prevent or greatly reduce the ability of aquatic species to move freely to migrate, feed, and reproduce. These poorly designed structures are also more prone to clogging, causing flooding, and washing out...

Get Involved

Whether you want to further conservation, learn more about nature or share your love of the outdoors, you’ve come to the right place. The Maine FWCO provides many opportunities for you to help your community and fish and wildlife by doing what you love.

We partner with volunteers, youth groups, landowners, neighbors and residents of both urban and rural communities to make a lasting difference. There are opportunities for everyone to get involved!

Volunteers: Gain new experiences and meet new people while helping to advance fish and aquatic conservation.

Friends: Join neighbors in helping hatcheries work effectively in our communities.

Local Groups: Find out how communities can work with hatcheries to conserve our shared natural resources.

Youth: Explore paid and unpaid opportunities to learn and develop leadership skills.

Location and Contact Information