Sennebec Pond Association & Trout Unlimited Host Information Meeting
7/23/2001 -- --
July 23, 2001
Union, Maine . . . The Sennebec Pond Association and the St. George Chapter of Trout Unlimited will host a Public Information Meeting on Monday, July 30 to explain the Sennebec Dam Project and answer questions from members of the public. The meeting will be held in the gymnasium at the Thompson Community Center in Union, Maine, from 7 to 9 pm.
The Pond Association and Trout Unlimited have submitted a permit application to remove the existing Sennebec Dam and replace it with a much lower structure 1,900 feet upstream at the natural outlet of Sennebec Pond. Sennebec Dam is owned by the Pond Association and is in need of substantial repairs.
“We are concerned that as the dam continues to deteriorate, it will no longer hold water and keep the pond level where it’s been since the dam was built in 1913,” said Susan Harris of the Sennebec Pond Association. “If we do nothing, the dam will eventually stop holding water.”
For the past 18 months, the Pond Association has been working with local residents, Trout Unlimited members, and a consultant to evaluate the condition of the dam and explore several options for repair. The consultant’s work indicated the dam is badly deteriorated and that removal of Sennebec Dam and replacement with a smaller upstream dam is the least expensive alternative. Trout Unlimited and other fisheries advocates have been seeking fish passage for salmon, alewives, and other fish at the dam for several years.
“We’ve been trying to find a win-win solution that keeps the pond level where the Pond Association wants it and allows fish access to the habitat upstream,” said Tom Whiting of Camden, the project manager for the St. George River Chapter of Trout Unlimited. “We think this is the best option for the fish and for the Pond Association.”
Susan Harris agreed. “This project replaces an old deteriorated dam with a brand new structure that will require little or no maintenance. In addition, it will allow the fish upstream for the first time since the dam was built. And because we are providing fish passage, we’ve been able to raise the money to build it. Without that help, the Pond Association wouldn’t be able to maintain the pond.”
Trout Unlimited has raised the money for the project from a combination of member donations and private and federal restoration grants. Jeff Reardon, New England Conservation Director for Trout Unlimited, has coordinated the fundraising effort. “Because the benefits for fish are substantial here, we’ve been able to attract funding from many different restoration programs. People have been looking for fish passage at this site for over 20 years, and we’ve finally found a way to do it.”
The Pond Association has asked Senator Christine Savage of Union to chair the meeting, which will include presentations from Sennebec Pond Association, Trout Unlimited, and URS Associates, the engineering firm who designed the project. In addition, representatives of state and federal agencies will be available to address concerns raised in the permitting process. For more information, contact Jeff Reardon at 373-0700, Susan Harris at 785-3430, or Tom Whiting at 236-4174.
Susan Harris, President, Sennebec Pond Association, Union, ME 785-3430
Jeff Reardon, New England Conservation Director, Trout Unlimited, Brunswick, ME 373-0700
Tom Whiting, St. George Chapter, Trout Unlimited, Camden, ME 236-4174
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