Penobscot River fish plans to be aired

Posted May 01, 2009, at 6:36 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Public meetings will be held next week on the draft operational plan for restoration of salmon and other sea-run fish to the Penobscot River.

The meetings are scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 6, at the Howland Town Hall; Thursday, May 7, at Brewer Auditorium; and Thursday, May 14, in the Superior Court courtroom at the Piscataquis County Courthouse in Dover-Foxcroft. They are sponsored by the Maine Salmon Commission, the state Department of Marine Resources and the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

This will be an opportunity for the public to comment on the Penobscot River Restoration Trust’s proposal to restore Atlantic salmon and other sea-run species such as alewives, sturgeon, blueback herring and shad throughout the Penobscot River drainage, according to Melissa Laser, a DMR biologist.

The draft operational plan focuses on the objectives, strategies and tasks to open the Penobscot watershed to the sea-run fish.

“The plan has 30 objectives to reach the long-term goal to restore and guide management of diadromous fish populations, aquatic resources and the ecosystems on which they depend, for their intrinsic, ecological, economic, recreational, scientific, and educational values for use by the public,” Laser said Friday.

Written comments on the plan, which is available at http://maine.gov/dmr/searunfish/reports/POPFullDraft4-13-09.pdf, will be accepted until May 28. A limited number of hard copies are available upon request.

Laser said the comments will be reviewed and the department will make changes in the plan, if necessary, or for clarification. The plan will then be presented to the Atlantic Salmon Commission consisting of Marine Resources Commissioner George LaPointe; Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner Danny Martin; and Dick Ruhlin of Brewer, member-at-large, for a vote in June.

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