Maine’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner has approved a plan to build a fish passageway at the Cumberland Mills Dam in Westbrook.
Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has approved a plan to construct a fish passage at the Cumberland Mills Dam in Westbrook.
The plan comes after more than three years of negotiations with the dam’s owner, S.D. Warren, doing business as Sappi Fine Paper North America, several state agencies and some conservation groups.
Commissioner Roland “Danny” Martin approved the plan, which includes a fishway design, a fishway, construction schedule and other details.
Last year, the department determined that S.D. Warren would be responsible for building and maintaining fish passage at the dam, the most downstream dam on the Presumpscot River. The dam no longer produces power and is not covered by a U.S. Supreme Court decision that requires the company to provide fish passage on its hydro dams further upstream.
The dam has impeded efforts to restore migratory fish to the Presumpscot. The group Friends of the Presumpscot River says the passageway will help bring fish populations upstream, which, in turn, will attract wildlife such as eagles and osprey.