After you read this book, you’ll be headed to the beautiful Presumpscot River.
Robert Sanford and William Plumley did a great job recruiting a lot of impressive people to write each chapter in River Voices – Perspectives on the Presumpscot published by North Country Press.
Each writer must have done a lot of research for his or her chapter, which cover everything from dams to fish and the devastating pollution from mills along the river.
The lower Presumpscot River flows from Sebago Lake through Cumberland County to Casco Bay. It was a busy river all the way back to the Abanakis. And before all the dams were built, it was home to lots of ocean and landlocked fish.
No surprise, I really liked the chapter on the river’s fisheries, and the successful effort to force the dam owners to build fish ways or rip out dams which brought back those ocean fish including lampreys, sturgeons, salmon, herring, eels, sea run brook trout and more.
At one point, the book reports that a 2008 study on the Kennebec River after removal of the dam in Augusta, found that the restored recreational fishery in the freshwater section of the river generated over $27.6 million annually in angling revenue.
I certainly contributed to that, enjoying fishing throughout my life on the entire Kennebec River from Moosehead Lake to the sea. I had many memorable fishing experiences fishing between Waterville and Augusta, after the Augusta dam was removed.
The book’s many photos and art are very good too, many putting you right on the river.
Toward the end of the book, I was very pleased to read that the Presumpscot River is transitioning to be a focal point of the community, a lovely recreational area offering new economic opportunities for nature, adventure, and eco-tourism.
We Mainers can all be proud that we’ve done a great job restoring our rivers, including the Presumpscot.