Letter to Editor: Free the fish

Profits vs. ecology. Since Leonard Lake’s Ellsworth dam was built in 1907, 112 years have passed. Brookfield Renewable/Black Bear Hydro states there was a saw mill at the present Leonard Lake dam site in 1767.

That’s 252 years.

So when and how are the fish, salmon, alewives, blue back herring, shad, short nosed sturgeon and eels supposed to get up and down the Union River they’ve known since the last ice age?

If they could, the fish would scream, let us get back to our homes in the rivers and lakes to breed.

When we were an English colony, Massachusetts and then finally Maine, there were laws and regulations to make sure dam builders would let fish pass up and down the river past their dams. When are the law makers and regulators going to regulate?

Surely Brookfield Renewable, a $330-billion dollar company, has the engineering ability to build safe fish ladders. Brookfield has wind farms generating 4,400 megawatts, solar farms generating 1,400 megawatts and 218 hydroelectric facilities on 83 river systems. The company pays a six percent dividend to shareholders. It’s time to put fish ladders up or get out of the dam business.

If you like to eat fish and lobsters, you have to be willing to let them eat the fish that need to go up and down all the rivers along the Maine coast.

It’s a sad site seeing a dead pregnant adult eel floating by on the Union River with turbine slashes across her body. It took three years to grow in the freshwater lakes and streams after swimming into the Union River from the Sargasso Sea as a three-inch glass eel, then climbing the ledges next to the 59 foot-high Leonard Lake Ellsworth dam to get up the watershed. This was a sad end.

Now we have endangered Atlantic salmon, and a crisis in cod and herring stocks. Lobstermen have a hard time getting bait.

Free the fish. Write to the governor and the Maine DEP. Free the fish!

Ed Damm

Hulls Cove


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