SULLIVAN – A variety of fish is returning to Downeast Maine.
With the removal of a certain roadblock, Smelt Cove is beginning to live up to its name again.
According to a Downeast Salmon Federation biologist, multiple species of spawning fish have returned to Smelt Cove in Sullivan for the first time in more than 50 years.
The reason for that is because the DSF removed a 51-year-old dam that blocked Smelt Brook from running into Smelt Cove.
“So we identified that this place has a damn, we did a survey looking for smelt several years ago and we found this dam, found these smelt eggs here and realized there was a problem that we could play a role in fixing. We found a few tomcod downstream of the dam and a few smelt eggs on the face of the dam last year. This year, tomcod are swimming way past where the dam used to be and are spawning in the stream again. We hope to find smelt here in the spring, too” DSF fish biologist Brett Ciccotelli said.
The problem with the dam was that different species of fish such as Smelt, American eels, brook trout, Atlantic tomcod, and striped bass were unable to move into Smelt Cove from due to the dam.
The impact of the dam removal has been immediate.
At the beginning of 2018, the DSF purchased the property surrounding Smelt Brook, with aid from the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program and other groups and individuals.
The Downeast Salmon Federation is a membership organization whose mission is to protect other important river, scenic, recreational and ecological resources in eastern Maine. People who want to know more can go online to https://mainesalmonrivers.org/