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Keeping Maine’s Forests Pilot Project Update Fisheries Habitat Restoration Pleasant River Watershed.

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Presentation on theme: "Keeping Maine’s Forests Pilot Project Update Fisheries Habitat Restoration Pleasant River Watershed."— Presentation transcript:

1 Keeping Maine’s Forests Pilot Project Update Fisheries Habitat Restoration Pleasant River Watershed

2 A Critical Aquatic Resource 90% of the intact eastern brook trout habitat in the US is in Maine. 30% of the remote ponds in Maine are in the Moosehead-Katahdin region (aka 100-Mile Wilderness). Very high concentration of some of the best wild and native trout habitat located in this region. Also Penobscot River Watershed – focus on fisheries habitat restoration.

3 Background March 2011 KMF fisheries forum sponsored by Maine Forest Products Council Fisheries habitat: success story to build on. Private landowners interested and engaged. Track record of cooperative efforts with NGOs, state and federal agencies with private landowners: Project SHARE in Downeast Maine.

4 Pilot Project Goal Meet the goals of Keeping Maine’s Forests including fiber production and maintaining important wildlife habitat in the greater Moosehead-Katahdin Region by creating a partnership dedicated to maintaining and restoring native fish habitat. Initial Partners: AMC, TNC, NRCS, USFWS, IF&W, Huber, also TU, FSM

5 The Issue Log drives ended in early 1970’s needed other means of log transport. 100’s of miles of roads were built starting in early 1970’s to truck logs out of the woods. Currently have an ageing road network with 100’s of culvert problems. Lower and mid Penobscot has 770 severe culvert fish barriers identified.

6 Biological Issue with Problem Culverts: Restrict fish movement minimizing timely access to: – Spawning habitat – Cold water refuge – Food resources. Create marshy backwaters – Increase water temperature – Reduce stream flow – Promotes conditions for warm water and invasive fish species. Prevents natural stream process from occurring including: – Large wood and substrate movement

7 Focus Area Determination Part I: Fish Habitat Total ATS rearing units rank + ((BKT stream rank +BKT Pond acreage rank)/2) OR Worked with state and federal biologists to determine a restoration focus area in the Penobscot Focus area determination – Used biological fish variables – Biological Opinion – Best of the best (could be better) Habitat + Habitat = ATS and BKT Habitat

8 Top Ten HUC 12’s (Orange) 71 known Severe Barriers in 6 HUC’s 4 HUC’s Need Culverts Surveyed

9 Focus Area Determination Part II: NRCS Client availability Barrier OwnershipPiscataquisPleasantEast Branch National Park (AT)010 Small Land Owners122 Unknown205 Worked with NRCS204 Non-Profit (AMC)090 Large Forest Land Owners9100 State, Town, County Roads13011 Total2722

10 Katahdin Iron Works Brownville Junction


12 How it worked NRCS and USFWS biologists and engineers completed design and plans for culvert removals summer 2011. No cost to the landowner. USFWS secured necessary permits. No cost to the landowner. Landowner obtained services of local contractor to complete the work. USFWS paid contractor directly for all costs associated with the work on the ground.

13 Site #1 Blocked Culvert

14 Site #2 Low Flow Fish Barrier

15 Site #3 Restored Natural Process

16 Success! The three culvert removal projects combined have reconnected close to two miles of stream habitat in the Pleasant River watershed. Much improved habitat for wild and native brook trout. Further bolsters region as a world-class trout fishery. Core project partners: AMC, Huber, USFWS, NRCS, and TNC.

17 Moving Forward Road stream crossing training in Nov. (requested by private landowners) Additional projects slated for 2012 Some culvert removal and restoration projects. Other projects include culvert or bridge replacement. Likely work with adjacent landowners that have expressed interest in the project. AMC to act as project sponsor to enable NRCS funding options for other landowners.

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