OLD TOWN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Wildlife students at the University of Maine conducted a fish study on Monday that will help play a role in gauging effects on fish once changes are made to the Penobscot River.
The students were out "Electro-Fishing" along the shorelines of Pushaw Stream near Old Town. A custom-made boat allowed them to generate electrical fields underwater and lure in a number of species of fish to weigh and measure.
Under the Penobscot River Restoration Project, a team of environmental groups which include the Atlantic Salmon Federation, the Nature Conservancy and the Natural Resources Council of Maine, are currently working to reopen the river and its tributaries to different types of sea run fish. The project would see the Vezie and Great Works dams removed and a state of the art fish bypass built around the Howland Dam.
The preliminary survey conducted by the students will later help gauge changes to different fish communities once those dams are gone.
"We're trying to get a good idea of the changes in the fish community structure and function throughout most of the watershed, but really focusing on the lower part which is going to be impacted the most immediately by the dam removals," said U. Maine wildlife and ecology professor Steve Coghlan, who is advising the study.
The students will continue to electro-fish along a total of 19 study sites both on and near the Penobscot. Coghlan expects the entire electro-study to take up to three weeks.