"And time it swallows everything

From the mighty to the meager thing

And it's as dark as it is comforting

To play along"

Amos Lee

 

What is Right and Wrong?

Itís frustrating, if this slaughter involved monarch butterflies, roseate terns or the sea turtles pictured above the public out cry would bring turbine blades to halt and rattle to rubble a thousand dams that havenít powered a mill for half a century.

Because fish are being slaughtered, slimy eels, we minimize and justify the slaughter as the price to pay for Green Power.

Dams on our rivers, especially our costal ones are to our rivers and their aquatic ecosystems what pesticides once were to our ecosystems on land. The difference is awareness, as of yet there has been no Rachel Carson to write the story and challenge the status quo.


Picture the scenes below on one of our rivers. These people are helping baby sea turtles get to the sea.

Now picture a fence across the above beach. The baby sea turtles cannot get past it. Because they cannot get past it they are being devoured by predators and dying of exhaustion. 

You come across this scene, and try to help them by putting them over the fence so they will not die. When you report your actions to the appropriate authorities they respond as follows.

Hi Doug:
>
>"I appreciate your interest in the conservation of diadromous fishes
>throughout the state.  However, you have now stocked fish without a permit,
>which is illegal.  You can continue talking to the fish, but please stop
>stocking them without a permit.   We are well aware of the alewives at
>Webber Pond and the eels at Fort Halifax. Skip anticipates that the eel
>passage will be operational tomorrow".
>
>Gail Whipplehauser Maine Department of Marine Resources

This is the response my brother and I received from Maine DMR when we tried to save baby eels by putting them over the Fort Halifax Dam an the Sebasticook River.


Picture this scene. Hundreds of adult female sea turtles crawling up the beach to give birth.

Photo of Olive Ridley sea turtles coming ashore to nest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halfway up the beach there is a giant brush chipper which grinds them to pieces.

You contact the appropriate authorities and report it. Their response is below.

Commissioner Lapointe: we will take the lead in requesting that the brush chipper owner voluntarily cease project operation during the sea turtle migration season.

You continue to ask the authorities to please stop the slaughter. They respond:

"Please...no further calls or emails to me or Tom or the Commissioner. A DMR
crew went out around 10AM to investigate. I will let you all know the
results when they return".

                                          Gail Whipplehauser Maine Department of Marine Resources

 

Back

 

A fish story from my knee 2020?

Grampy, that's a picture of you with a very big fish, where and when did you catch him?

Caught him on the backside of  Naushon Island on a black September night in 1994.

Grampy, what did you use for bait to catch such a big fish?

I used an American eel for bait. We used to hook them through the lips and toss them into the boulder fields along the shore of the islands. No better bait for big stripers.

Grampy, what are American eels?

American eels were a long snakey looking fish, the babies used to come up Weweantic by the tens of thousands. Here are some pictures of me and your dad catching them and putting them over the dam. Your dad was about your age then.

Grampy, can you take me fishing with eels, and can we go put the babies over the dam like you and my daddy did?

I am afraid not sweetheart, we can't.

Why Grampy?

Because American eels are extinct.

Grampy, what does extinct mean?

 

Links

ASMFC news release on their recommendations regarding the American eel

American Eel in focus

American Eel decline

Researchers Warn Of Declining American Eel Population

International Eel symposium 2003 (great stuff, albeit depressing)

 

 

The small white and transparent objects around the dead glass eel are rainbow smelt eggs. They are dead. Because the rainbow smelt cannot get past the dam they are forced to lay their eggs below the dam where the tide fluctuates. Unknowingly the rainbow smelt lay their eggs in the shallows just below the dam at high tide. When the tide recedes their eggs are left high and dry to die on the exposed stream bank. Such  uplifting places, these old useless dams and green power hydro dams, wonderful things, so quaint, historical and environmentally friendly.

 

 

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