I was involved in the Augusta’s Edwards Dam removal for 25 years. It started out with a small group of conservationists who liked to fish and had a vision of a free-flowing river. With the help of many other groups and individuals, the first ever power generating dam was removed for environmental reasons.

The benefits of returning the Kennebec to free flowing to Waterville and beyond have been well documented, with alewife, shad and blue backs returning in record numbers, just to name a few. The fish lift owned by Brookfield at Lockwood hasn’t passed shad or alewife in any numbers for 10 years.

The Kennebec River is the last hope for restoring wild Atlantic salmon in the United Stated. The amount of power lost at the lower dams on the Kennebec is minimal and the benefits of dam removal is well documented. The only fish passage that really work is a free flowing river.

Before we damned the Kennebec and made it an industrial river, Atlantic salmon ran wild in huge numbers and were harvested and sold all over the world. We were their demise and we have an obligation to restore them if we can!

Bruce Bowman

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