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Maggie Mooney-Seus
978 281-9175/774-392-4865
August 2, 2010
55 Great Republic Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930-2276

NOAA Seeks Input on Coordinated Approach to Help Private Dam Owners Comply with Federal Laws to Recover Endangered Atlantic Salmon in Maine PDF/Print version
Atlantic Salmon
Atlantic Salmon
Related Links

Public Meeting Schedule

Atlantic Salmon Recovery Program

More information on Salmon General Conservation Plan

NOAA is holding a series of informal public meetings in Maine to seek input on a new process to make it easier for non-federally licensed dam owners to meet their obligations under federal environmental laws and help restore endangered Atlantic salmon in the Penobscot, Merrymeeting, and Downeast watersheds. Because dam owners are responsible for impacts on salmon due to their dams, NOAA is encouraging removal of dams or installation of fish passage devices (fishways) so fish can reach spawning and rearing habitats that are critical to their survival.

"We want to engage dam owners in the development of a General Conservation Plan that will save them time, energy, and money as we work to recover Atlantic salmon, " said Patricia Kurkul, administrator, Northeast Region, NOAA Fisheries Service. "This will provide a streamlined process for dam owners to secure necessary permits to allow for the incidental take of Atlantic salmon that does not jeopardize species survival or recovery."

Man-made barriers that prevent or delay passage of Atlantic salmon are considered a form of take. Under the Endangered Species Act, a take is defined as; "to harass, harm, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect." The General Conservation Plan will include conservation strategies to enable dam owners to avoid, minimize, and mitigate the effects from any take of Atlantic salmon.

Through this comprehensive approach to providing access to fragmented aquatic habitat for Atlantic salmon, NOAA will help other species that spend all or some portion of their lives in these waterways such as Atlantic sturgeon, shortnose sturgeon, American eels, striped bass, brook trout, alewives, blueback herring, sea lamprey, American shad and rainbow smelt as well.

NOAA has scheduled three public meetings in Maine to discuss this plan: August 10 at the Penobscot County Conservation Association in Brewer, Maine; August 15 at the Governor Hill Mansion in Augusta, Maine; and August 18 at the University of Maine in Machias, Maine. All meetings will occur between 6-8 pm.

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