Restore Alewives to the St. Croix River!!!
On Monday, March 25th at 9 AM the Marine Resources Committee of the Maine Legislature will hold a public hearing on several bills that will allow alewives back into the St. Croix River watershed above the Grand Falls Dam.
ASF is supporting LD 72: An Act to Open the St. Croix to River Herring. This bill is sponsored by Rep. Madonna Soctomah of the Passamaquoddy Tribe. This bill will simply remove the blockages in the fishway at the Grand Falls Dam and allow the alewife population access to the Grand Falls flowage and adjacent interconnected water bodies. This bill will reverse the misguided, unilateral actions of the Maine Legislature back in 1995 that banned alewives from 99% of their spawning habitat in the St. Croix, causing the population to crash from more than 2.5 million fish down to a few thousand within a decade.
ASF is opposed to a plan from the LePage administration that calls for implementing the draft Adaptive Management Plan put together back in the 2010 by the International Joint Commission. This plan was never finalized and was widely criticized during the public comment period. This plan holds alewife restoration hostage to fluctuations in the non-native smallmouth bass population and ignores all of the science that shows that alewives pose no threat to bass or other species.
NOAA Fisheries, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada are opposed to Adaptive Management Plan and its approach, as are Maine and New Brunswick Indian tribes/First Nations and the environmental and conservation communities on both sides of the border.
We strongly encourage you to contact your state legislators and ask them to support LD 72 and NOT the plan put forth by the LePage Administration in LD 584: An Act to Provide for Passage of River Herring on the St. Croix River in Accordance with an Adaptive Management Plan. LD 584 has a misleading title and is simply a bill to severely limit the number of alewives in the St. Croix, depriving the river, estuary and Passamaquoddy Bay the myriad benefits of a rejuvenated alewife run.
To find out how to contact your legislators you can use this Website: http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/townlist.htm
John R.J. Burrows
Director of New England Programs
Atlantic Salmon Federation
Fort Andross, Suite 406
14 Maine Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
[email protected] || (207) 725-2833
Visit our website www.asf.ca