Desperate Alewives


desperate alewives

Culverts funded for replacement on Muscongus Brook in Bremen, Maine | © Amy Singler

Maine Public Broadcasting Network program Sustainable Maine recently aired a great episode titled, “Desperate Alewives.”

The program focuses on the anadromous alewives that once migrated up New England rivers by the millions but have declined dramatically.

The information on the history of alewives and what can be done to help restore the species is applicable for the whole northeast and for other migratory species as well.

Check Out the Episode

Through our River Restoration Program American Rivers is working to restore rivers for all migratory species, including alewives. Our work in Maine includes funding two successful dam removals in the fall 2010: Lower Montsweag Brook Dam and West Winterport Dam. We are also funding the Sheepscot River Watershed Council for a project in Muscongus Bay to restore a run of alewives to Webber Pond in Bremen, Maine.

The project, funded through our Rivergrants, will replace a perched culvert in the summer 2012 with a better design to pass fish and wildlife. Combined with Maine DOT improvements at an upstream culvert we hope that in the years to come to see thousands of alewives returning to Muscongus Brook and spawning in Webber Pond. Our 2011 Rivergrants round is currently open for similar dam stream barrier removal projects in Maine and other regions in the country. Proposals are due December 9th. For more information, check out the NOAA Grants.