May 08, 2020
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Dam relicensing could allow Auburn to hold kayaking, fishing events

Andree Kehn | AP
Andree Kehn | AP
Krystal Dill casts into the Little Androscoggin River Friday, May 24, 2019 in Auburn, Maine. Dill says it is the first time she has fished in this spot, but enjoys fishing in many local spots.

A relicensing of the Lower Barker Mill Dam on Little Androscoggin River could lead to the creation of urban kayaking events in downtown Auburn, the Sun Journal reports.

As part of the new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license issued to dam owner KEI Power, KEI proposed upgrades that could create as many as five whitewater boating events annually, each for up to five hours and with water flows fast enough to create whitewater rapids for kayak runs, said Eric Cousens, deputy director of the city’s Economic and Community Development department.

“The recreation potential this brings to Auburn is the ‘big win,’ ” Cousens said in a statement released Friday.

The license was issued on April 15. No detailed plans or dates for any events have been set.

The agreement stipulates that the dam’s flows increase from 20 cubic feet per second to 113, fast enough to allow fish migration and some summer fishing opportunities. The plan proposes the construction of fish passages starting in 2021.

The city will start promoting river events over the next several months, the Sun Journal reports.

 


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