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Bristol Lions Learn about the Bristol Mills Dam Study 02/14/2018

Posted by DS in club business.

Bristol Lions President Brendan Donegan shown with the Bristol Mills Dam Advisory Committee Chair Claire Enterline.

On Monday, Feb. 5, the Bristol Area Lions Club heard from Bristol Mills resident Claire Enterline, chair of the Bristol Mills Dam Advisory Committee. Enterline is eminently qualified to lead this committee as she received a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Boston University, and a master’s degree in zoology focusing on fish behavior from the University of New Hampshire.  

Enterline was employed as a diadromous fish (migratory between salt and fresh waters) biologist with the Maine Department of Marine Resources from 2007-2015, and was part of the staff that made assessments in 2012-2015 of the fishway in the Bristol Mills dam.  Enterline did volunteer fish counts as a Bristol Mills resident as well as enjoying canoeing on the Pemaquid River up to the northern most point of Pemaquid Pond and back. She is very well aware of the unique habitat upstream from Ellingwood Park. 

The Bristol Mills Dam Advisory Committee was formed in December 2016, at the request of the Bristol selectmen to oversee the process of a feasibility study by Wright-Pierce Engineering to present various options for the future of the dam and fish passage at the site and important functions of the dam maintaining water levels, providing a firefighting water supply, and swimming area. 

After the completion of the first draft of the study, twenty members of the Bristol Fire and Rescue, as concerned citizens, in a signed statement urged our leaders to maintain the current location of the Bristol Mills Dam, which was submitted to the selectmen on Nov. 13, by the Town Administrator.

At a public hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 30, residents voiced support for the repair of the Bristol Mills Dam and fish ladders as well as the ecosystem of the Pemaquid River. At the close of the informative meeting on the three options: repair, partial removal, or complete removal of the dam, a non-binding straw poll was taken by Selectman Paul Yates to see what option the residents favored.  The vote was 84 for repair, 24 for partial removal and one vote for complete removal.  

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club is the annual Speak Out on Monday, Mar. 5 at 6 p.m. in the fellowship hall of New Harbor Methodist Church catered by Deb’s Bristol Diner.  The meal will be veggie lasagna, salad, and garlic bread, followed by cookies and coffee.  Student contestants and one family member or friend will be dinner guests sponsored by members of the club.  

Members of the debate team from Lincoln Academy will be speaking on a topic of their choice for approximately five minutes using a minimum of notes. Points will be deducted for excessive reading. At the conclusion of each talk the contestant will be asked two questions to test their knowledge of the subject.  A panel of three judges will score each contestant. Cash prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third place. The winner will go on to the regional competition at Lincoln Academy, and that winner to the state competition at the Samoset Resort in Rockport the end of April.  

To make dinner reservations, please call Herb Watson at 677-6191.  To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, call Walt Johansson at 677-2584


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