The Ladd dam was one of six barriers prevented 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
along Outlet Stream in central Maine.

The China Lake Outlet Stream Restoration Project will restore connectivity through the entire Outlet Stream in central Maine, opening fish passage from China Lake's incredible 3,939 acres of alewife spawning and nursery habitat to the mainstem Sebasticook and Kennebec Rivers, which flow into the Atlantic Ocean. Formerly, six barriers prevented fish passage along the stream.

Through work by USFWS and partners, four barriers have been addressed (Box Mill dam fishway, Ladd dam fishway, Lombard dam removal, Masse dam removal) and the remaining two barriers will be taken care of soon (Morneau dam removal, Outlet dam fishway). The USFWS and partners are working to re-establish a self-sustaining run of 800,000 to 950,000 adult alewives into the spawning habitat of China Lake and provide downstream passage for out-migrating juveniles. The project is also restoring natural ecological processes and the habitat of Outlet Stream, improving the resiliency of the system, supporting benthic species that provide forage for fish and serve as an integral component of the riverine food web, and promoting the distribution of native freshwater mussels that depend on the movement of host fish species for colonization. The China Lake Outlet Stream Restoration Project has benefits for the local communities around Vassalboro, ME too- this project improves water quality, reduces public safety risks by removing obsolete and deteriorating dams, and aims to restore a run of alewife that is economically important to this area.

Contact Information


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