By Randall Poulton
Last Week’s Question:
For the two years prior to the removal of Veazie dam and Great Works dam, the annual salmon count in the Penobscot averaged ~1,800 salmon. In the eight years since these dams have been removed, the average salmon count has been:
A. Half as many, about 900 salmon per year
B. Twice as many, about 3,600 salmon per year
C. There have been too many salmon to count
D. When adjusted for predation by bears, ospreys and eagles, about the same as before the dams were removed.
The answer is “A” – for the last eight years the salmon count has been ~900 fish per year. In theory, removing the dams should have increased survival rates and thereby increased the number of fish returning to spawn. Maybe that has happened and other factors have offset the no dam benefit. To me, this outcome was not unexpected. Twenty plus years ago, when the Edwards dam was removed from the Kennebec River, the hype was the salmon runs would be returning. It hasn’t happened. Since 2010, the annual salmon count in the Kennebec has averaged 32 fish. The median run is 23 fish. Removing dams to “save the salmon” hasn’t worked in the Penobscot or, so far, in the Kennebec.
This week’s question:
If your electric bill is $100 per month now, what will your bill be in January of 2023?
A. About the same (because of the PUC’s standard offer)
B. About $80 (because of the additional electricity being generated by solar and wind)
C. About $120 (because of inflation)
D. About $150 (because of Joe Biden’s policies)
E. About $200 (because of hurricane Ian)