2016-07-22 / Letters

It’s a win-win for fish and dams

To the editor:

It turns out there is a new alternative for relicensing the dams that ends up making a $4.4 million profit. Yes, a profit. All previous alternatives studied by Wright-Pierce were going to cost us from $6 million to $11 million or more. KLPD ratepayers or Kennebunk taxpayers were going to lose money no matter which of the previously proposed alternatives we chose. It was going to be a lose-lose and no one was going to be a winner. However, in 2011 the ALDEN Research Laboratory, Inc. contracted by W-P conducted an evaluation of; Fish Restoration Drivers and Passage Options for… KLPD dams. They suggested an alternative option based on the lack of fish: “… a small-scale… study by the Wells Reserve in 2009, …. Of the diadromous species that may be targeted for passage; two blueback herring, six alewife, one American shad (nine fish) and 17 American eel were collected.

Although these results may be useful for establishing presence or absence of species in the lower estuarine portions of the river, they do not indicate that there are sufficient numbers of diadromous species moving in the Mousam River to warrant the installation of fish passage structures at the dams.”

A new alternative to Seek License with Fish Transport (not fish passage) saves or avoids the $4.8 million cost for construction and maintenance of fish passage. A cost analysis spreadsheet for this new alternative, including inflation, provides a profit of $4.4 million.

When Madison Electric Works took out one dam 11 years ago, there were still three hydropower dams downstream in the Kennebec River. To restore salmon to the Sandy River, now and over the last 11 years, fish are trapped, trucked and put into the river. Hey a win-win for fish and dams is here.

Albert Kolff

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