Waltons Mill Dam Study in Maine Begins June 7

DAILY BULLDOG - Farmington, ME

Walton’s Mill Dam study to begin June 7

Posted • May 15, 2017 •

FARMINGTON – The Atlantic Salmon Federation is about to begin a comprehensive, six-month study of ways to provide fish passage at the Walton’s Mill Dam on Temple Stream in Farmington.

Atlantic salmon are a critically endangered species and the Walton’s Mill Dam prevents adult salmon from accessing a large amount of spawning and rearing habitat.

“Temple Stream has the largest contiguous amount of habitat for endangered Atlantic salmon in Maine that is currently inaccessible to adult salmon because of the lack of fish passage at Walton’s Mill Dam,” said John Burrows, director of New England Programs for ASF. “Temple Stream has produced abundant juvenile salmon through the State’s innovative egg-planting program, but it is critical that we get returning adult salmon into this habitat so that they can spawn naturally.”

The fish passage alternatives study will kick-off with a public information meeting on Wednesday, June 7 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the downstairs room of the Farmington Community Center at 127 Middle Street. Burrows, along with Joseph McLean from the engineering firm Wright-Pierce will provide an overview of the upcoming work at the Walton’s Mill Dam and answer questions from people in attendance. The community is also encouraged to reach-out to Burrows with questions and ideas throughout the study process.

"In recent years, the town of Farmington has built two major erosion control and drainage improvement projects that are sensitive to the critical salmon habitat in the Sandy River. The town recognizes the importance of this resource. We look forward to the Walton's Mill Dam fish passage feasibility study and resulting recommendations for improvements to this resource. The Town appreciates the assistance being provided by the Atlantic Salmon Federation and its project partners in leading the study," said Farmington Town Manager Richard Davis.

In addition to the dam work, there will be a parallel process run by the landscape architecture firm Richardson & Associates looking at alternative ways to improve the existing park and other town land adjacent to the Walton’s Mill Dam. This process will begin with a public design charrette and information session at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 28 at the Farmington Community Center.

The local community is strongly encouraged to attend and participate. Additional public sessions for the landscape design work will be held later this year. At the end of the process, the Town will be provided with a conceptual master plan for the land.

Under the Maine Headwaters Program, ASF has worked closely with local communities, private land owners, corporations, conservation groups, and public agencies to complete dozens of fish passage projects across Maine. By contributing resources and expertise, and by listening to local concerns, ASF has successfully restored access to more than 700 miles of river and stream habitat and more than 22,000 acres of lake habitat over the last two decades.