For more than twenty years, a movement of NGOs, fishermen, scientists, local residents, activists, and politicians have been fighting to restore the migratory pathways of wild Atlantic salmon. They have finally achieved their victory with the announcement of the "New Poutès" dam on the Upper Allier. The old dam has been removed, and a new structure will be built. The once 4.5 kilometer impoundment will now be 350 meters long. The dam will be 7 meters high instead of a 18 meters, and the three sluices will be shaped to allow for a transparent structure 3 months per year, allowing salmon and other fish to complete their migrations. The project will be finished for the 2022 spring. This is a major compromise for the Electric Utility of France, and shows that the decades of citizen engagement has made a difference. This dam project and the Allier salmon were the subject of a recent documentary by Stephane Granzotto entitled "Salmon and Men".
Wednesday, February 24, 2021