Thursday, June 26, 2008

Presumpscot River Secret Deal is Dead

It seems SAPPI has backed out of the secret deal with the State, FOPR, and American Rivers. We are not sure really why but we believe the deal did not seem so sweet to SAPPI. Reforming the riverbed to allow fish passage was more than SAPPI could bear.

We imagine that engaging in this deal has cost FOPR and their backer American Rivers considerable tens of thousands of dollars. It was a great waste.

Now it is back to square one with fishway proceedings at Cumberland Mills. Our motto is never make deals with SAPPI.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Fish Farmer

My comments of the FISH FARMER
This 1868 article-editorial in the New York Times is eerily related to todays struggle to restore the Presumpscot River fishery. In striking contrast, the fish leaders of 1868 said give us a few thousand dollars to build fishways and 5 years we will restore the salt water fishery(anadromous fishery). Lo and behold they did it. That is why Sebago Lake had the big salmon.
One would not believe the bovine skatology secret deal coming from the State DMR, United States Fish and Wildlife, American Rivers, Friends of the Presumpscot, and of course SAPPI that prevents salmon from free access over the dams and stops all fish migration at Dundee Dam which is the third dam below Sebago Lake. Even when the first alewives from the ocean bump their noses on the base of Dundee dam by the time stipulated in the agreement many of us will be old and senile or dead. The dam owners today must be laughing in their scotch every night at the failure of coherent thought of the environmentalists, the State officials sworn to protect the public trust of fish resources, and even the ocean fishermen who do not understand where those salt water fishes use to spawn.

The Fish Farmer

"The World suspects the Fish Commissioners of the several States, now active in efforts to secure the cooperation necessary to the successful stocking of our streams, of sinister motives, and insinuates that the Convention in this City had for its purpose the promotion of private rather than public interests. As the Fish Commissioners of most of the the States serve without pay, and those of New York actually at their own expense, it can hardly be charged that they aim at draining the State Treasuries of large sums in the shape of salaries. The fact is that thus far the stocking of the streams of New -England has been in every instance done at the private expense of the zealous fish farmers whom the World imagines are to be most benefited by the success of the scheme. One of these fish farmers, who is also a Commissioner of this State, spent the whole of the last shad-spawning Season in stocking the Connecticut River, and not only paid his own expenses, but spent days and nights in patrolling the river , and watching his hatching box to prevent its destruction by the fishermen. Can the World imagine any noteworthy motive in this act? Among the fellow-Commissioners of this gentlemen, and included, we suppose, in the general acquisition of improper motives, is Hon. Horatio Seymour, late Democratic candidate for the Presidency, a gentlemen who, much as he may have been criticized for his political opinions and course, has never before been accused of dishonorable pecuniary motives.
The World betrays much ignorance in its attack on the Fish Commissioners. Does not the World that the culture of salt-water fish cannot possibly become a private enterprise in this country, where all streams of any magnitude are public property? The culture of fresh-water fish is properly a private enterprise, in which every farmer with a supply of water may engage., just as he would in raising poultry, and with even better success if conducted with the same intelligence. The culture of salt-water or sea-going fish must necessarily be done by the States which own the streams by which the fish ascend to their fresh-water spawning beds, and return to their natural salt-water feeding grounds. To raise fresh-water fish a certain process must be annually gone through with. To cultivate salt- water fish it is necessary only that the obstacles to their natural propagation shall be removed. This is what the Fish Commissioners propose to do, and they ask five years to do it in and a few thousand dollars to accomplish it with. The material improvements necessary are the fish-ways over the higher dams which now obstruct the migrations of the fish. The World thinks that owners of dams will not be induced to build these fishways because they are not disposed “to cut holes in the dams to let fish through, when the same holes prevent them from catching the supply of water needed for their mills.” The World is evidently under the impression that fish-ways are usually of a capacity to drain a river; or; perhaps that it imagines that the Fish Commissioners contemplate taking the bottom out of all the streams in the country. We have before warned the Fish Commissioners that it is against just such ignorance that they will have most difficulty in contending. Before they succeed they will not only have to compel manufacturers to improve their dams and punish illegal fishing by process of law, but also educate the World and such as read it to a proper appreciation of the importance of the material interest involved."
-New York Times December 3, 1868-

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Presumpscot , a salmon river

“The method of taking salmon is by trolling with a bright lure, with hooks or spinners and with natural bait, shiners being a captivating morsel, A good spring bait is the smelt. The fish when the ice goes out, are ravenously hungry and trolling is regarded as best. Later on flies are good, particularly when the heat is oppressive. One then should fish in deep water and in the rapids. This applies to all four rivers-Presumpscot, Sebec, Union, and Saint Croix. Usually the landlocked salmon takes the bait with a mad rush, and then the acrobatic performance is on. His first sign of fight is the leap, a similar stunt performed by the black bass."
New York Times March 8, 1910

Comment- It is 1910 and the Presumpscot is written of in the New York Times as a landlocked salmon river. We know that Presumpscot fishways existed in the early 1900's.
The North Gorham dam ,as it is presently, was not built yet. It could not have been a noted Salmon River unless the fishway was operable at the Sebago lake dam .
1910 however seems to be the end date for reports of very large salmon in great numbers.