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Kevin McKay, August 11, 2017 in Fly Fishing
chum, taking the 8wt to go see, rays smelt will work
Again. This problem is ongoing.
I fish there, sometimes often, lately not so much. There have been a couple complaints from down river a bit. Sometimes that little river sports some good bait runs. So these fish are the product of an earlier lift above the dam, now it spawn time and the move back out is on, by the millions I would guess. I agree there is supposed to be a problem at the plant, but the fish we are seeing, is it really a big deal? I fished exactly there the night before, I never saw dead fish floating by. I have no ties to anybody at the plant.
If you want to take out the dam I'm sure Brookfeild will sell it to you if you come up with enough money....a few dead fish are nothing compared to how many actually are released through that system...the returns are better than anywhere else in the state and it is because the fish are trucked upstream.... like 300,000 spawning river herring each laying another 100,000 eggs????? every year.... gimme a break...the reality is this...a few dead fish mean nothing in terms of the scale of operations......that is why there are so many going down and so many coming back year after year...the bait harvest is huge yet the returns are still always high there...
Downstream passage is not that difficult to make work, especially for alewives. It's a matter of creating an attraction flow that takes them away from going through the turbines, and providing a place they can pass over the dam without smashing on rocks. Other Maine dam owners have done it.
I don't know if the issue in Ellsworth is fish passing through turbines, or fish spilling over the dam and onto rocks or a concrete apron, and I don't think it's too much to ask the dam owner to find the problem and fix it.
I think one of the complaints was your first option, keeping them away from the turbine. the attraction flow is right next to the turbine, sometimes there is not enough water to go over the dam, so they go over where they can, next to the turbine.
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