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Walker Pond- Bagaduce River Restoration Project

Partnerships Key to Habitat Restoration Success in the Bagduce River Watershed.

In late July 2020, construction vehicles appeared at Walker Pond on the Coastal Road in Brooksville to start the next project in the watershed-wide effort to restore fish passage to the Bagaduce River.

In late July 2020, construction vehicles appeared at Walker Pond on the Coastal Road in Brooksville to start the next project in the watershed-wide effort to restore fish passage to the Bagaduce River.

This project took place on the small property owned by Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) at a former mill site at the head of the Bagaduce River.  The project goals were to improve fish passage, repair and stabilize the dam, and create improvements for public enjoyment. The plans also included a new pullout and dry hydrant for firetrucks.  “This project had so many exciting elements to it - rich human history, the restoration of important ecological services, community support, public safety, and great partnerships.” notes MCHT Senior Project Manager Ciona Ulbrich, point person for the project. 

Walker Pond is the third of five projects prioritized by the Three Town Alewife Committee (Brooksville, Penobscot and Sedgwick), and agreed upon by community members and organizations collaborating on a multi-year effort to restore fish passage to the Bagaduce River watershed.  “These restoration projects are an important part of an overall goal for these towns to monitor, manage, and ensure the existence of important fisheries that have been culturally connected to towns long before dams were built,” notes Mike Thalhauser, Co-Management Specialist for Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries.

Mike Burke of Inter-fluve was the engineer for this project and worked together with Gartley & Dorsky Engineering and Surveying to assess the dam safety and fish passage needs, and to design the improvements.  RF Jordan and Sons Construction Inc. did the construction work.    Mike Thalhauser of the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, the Brooksville and Sedgwick Alewife Committees, supportive neighbors, the local Select Boards, and Fire Chiefs of both Sedgwick and Brooksville as well as multiple federal and state agencies provided helpful input and support to the project. Like the other restoration projects in the watershed, there were numerous individuals, organizations, and agencies all partnering to make this come together.

In 2018 and 2019, nature-like fishways were installed at the outlets of Pierce Pond and Wights Pond in Penobscot, in close partnership with that Town’s Select Board and Alewife Committee.  With the completion of the project at Walkers Pond, the partners hope to complete two more projects in 2021: one in Brooksville and one in Sedgwick.  All together, the projects will restore fish passage to the entire watershed, helping to rebuilding the population of forage fish in the Bagaduce River and the Gulf of Maine. 

 “These projects are so complex that every person and organization that pitched in is important to getting them done.  I am especially grateful to a number of people and families in this area who gave either in kind or financial gifts here; this work would be impossible without them.” said Ulbrich.

Construction, engineering, and improvements at the site were funded in part by the 2016 Chevron Marine Oil Terminal Facility Natural Resource Damage Settlement. The trustees in the settlement included the Maine Department of Environmental Protection; Maine Department of Marine Resources; Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry; Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife; and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  The Nature Conservancy, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a number of private donors with ties to the area, and NOAA via the Habitat Focus Area program, provided additional funding. 

Come see the work done last summer at the Mill Pond at Walker Pond outlet in Brooksville. This 14-minute video will walk you around the property, explaining the work that was done.

Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, and the Three Town Alewife Committee, with help from a whole lot of other people, organizations and agencies, have been working to restore fish passage throughout the Bagaduce River Watershed since 2016. This is our third project.

Bagaduce Fishway Project: Walker Pond from Maine Coast Heritage Trust on Vimeo.

About Maine Coast Heritage Trust

Maine Coast Heritage Trust is a statewide land conservation organization and the local land trust for Mount Desert Island. Since 1970, Maine Coast Heritage Trust has helped conserve more than 155,000 acres in Maine, from the Isles of Shoals to Cobscook Bay, including more than 330 coastal islands. For more information, visit

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