The same experimental fish pump that could save the Fort Halifax dam in Winslow, US, also could keep a hydroelectric project standing upstream on the Sebasticook river in Maine, US.

Ridgewood Maine Hydro Partners, (RMHP) of Ridgewood, New Jersey, said the company wants to keep its Burnham hydroelectric project, also known as the Burnham dam, 2m north of the Burnham in Pittsfield, operational.

RMHP must either provide fish passage at the dam next year, or remove it. Sea-run fish passage along the Sebasticook and Kennebec rivers must be accommodated according to the 1998 Edwards dam removal agreement.

RMHP conceded that the company was thinking long and hard about paying more than US$1M for a conventional fish ladder. But the state of Maine department of Environmental Protection has indicated it is willing to try a much cheaper experimental pump to get sea-run fish over the dam.

However, the state must convince the signatories of the Edwards dam agreement to allow the fish pump plan at Fort Halifax to move forward. Fort Halifax dam owner FPL Energy had decided to decommission the dam, rather than pay for a fish ladder, until the fish pump idea came along.