We know that to protect biodiversity and build our ocean’s resilience to climate change, we must protect much more of New England’s ocean.
Thousands of dams, large and small, built over the last 250 years have cut fish off from freshwater spawning grounds, thwarting reproductive cycles that had been ongoing for eons. The impacts of these dams, on top of pollution, overfishing, and climate change, have led to a drastic decline in river herring populations – threatening their survival.
In a milestone for the health of the Presumpscot River and Casco Bay, crews removed the dam at Saccarappa Falls over the summer. For the first time in more than two centuries, the waters of the Presumpscot flowed freely over the falls through the heart of Westbrook.
Alewives are critical to Maine’s fisheries but collapsed due to laws keeping the fish from spawning ground. CLF took action to save the species.
It’s finally summer in Maine – and that means lots of opportunities to get outside and enjoy everything from whale watching, to fishing, to visiting our local farmers’ markets. CLF works every day to protect the things we all love about these long, hot days in Vacationland – not only because of the opportunities for…
The Royal River runs about 30 miles from its headwaters in New Gloucester, Maine, to its outlet in Casco Bay in Yarmouth. Like many of New England’s coastal rivers, the Royal drove vital economic growth during the region’s industrial era, when dams built along its route harnessed water to power mills, tanneries, and more. While…
Every year, alewives and blueback herring return to their native waters to spawn. But thousands of dams have cut these fish off from thousands of acres of freshwater bodies, thwarting reproductive cycles that had been ongoing for eons. The impact of these dams, on top of threats from pollution and overfishing, have led to a drastic decline in river herring populations – threatening their survival.
It’s that time of year when fish like alewives and blueback herring journey from the sea to their native fresh waters to spawn. As a keystone species, these fish, collectively known as river herring, play a critical role as building blocks in our coastal ecosystems. They are also important to the health of New England’s fisheries,…
River herring and shad play a critical role in the health of Maine’s coastal fisheries, serving as food for cod, salmon, and striped bass and as a bait fish for lobstermen. Their populations have dipped dangerously low over the last century, however, as dams built to power riverside industries blocked access to traditional spawning grounds.…
Sean Mahoney, Maine Director for Conservation Law Foundation, commented, “The Presumpscot River was once home to hundreds of thousands of migratory fish before it was dammed, stem to stern, and treated as though it were a public sewer. Restoring the productivity of the fish populations in the Presumpscot is vital, not just for those who fish along the river, but also for the health of our fishing industry in Casco Bay and the Gulf of Maine. Migratory fish like alewives and bluebacks are critical bait for the lobster fishery and key to the entire food system.”