News & Notes

Action Needed – Alewives: An Act to Reopen the St. Croix River to River Herring (LD 72)

Monday, March 18th, 2013
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We need your support! Monday, March 25th at 9 a.m. a public hearing will be held before the Marine Resources Committee. Please consider attending and if your legislator is on the committee consider calling their offices.

Facts: Maine Audubon supports adoption of “An Act to Reopen the St. Croix River to River Herring”  – LD 72 which will help restore the native alewife population in the St. Croix River. This bill would reopen fish passage to alewives (also known as river herring) at two dams on the St. Croix.

  • The St. Croix River should produce the largest run of alewives on the east coast, but Maine closed fishways at two dams on the river in 1995, which has resulted in a population decline from more than 2.6 million fish to less than a thousand within a few years.
  • In 2008, the Legislature opened the fishway at the lower dam, but alewives can still only access about 2% of their native spawning habitat.
  • Alewives are a critical food source for many valuable fish species including salmon, striped bass, bluefish, tuna, cod and haddock. Many mammals and birds also prey on alewives.
  • Alewives are the preferred spring bait for Maine’s lobster industry.

Watch our advocacy video:

Wildfire – The Importance of Alewives for Healthy Rivers and a Healthy Economy

If you have never attended a public hearing read our guide to Testifying at Public Hearings.

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Contact Your Legislator

Committee on Marine Resources
c/o Legislative Information
100 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333

  • Senator Christopher K. Johnson (D-Lincoln), Chair
  • Senator Edward J. Mazurek (D-Knox)
  • Senator Richard G. Woodbury (U-Cumberland)
  • Representative Walter A. Kumiega III (D-Deer Isle), Chair
  • Representative Chuck Kruger (D-Thomaston)
  • Representative Ralph Chapman (D-Brooksville)
  • Representative Michael Gilbert Devin (D-Newcastle)
  • Representative Elizabeth E. Dickerson (D-Rockland)
  • Representative Jeremy G. Saxton (D-Harpswell)
  • Representative Windol C. Weaver (R-York)
  • Representative Wayne R. Parry (R-Arundel)
  • Representative Peter Doak (R-Columbia Falls)
  • Representative Ellen A. Winchenbach