The Seal Cove Pond Fishways Project

The effort to reconnect Tremont’s Seal Cove and Seal Cove Pond and improve fish passage is complete!

Seal Cove is one of a few public waterfront sites on the “Quietside” of Mount Desert Island. A town park provides access to the water and a picnic area. Visitors can enjoy the stillness of an early morning fog, the splendor of the setting sun, and take in the sights and sounds of the local fishing industry.

Historically, the connection between Seal Cove and nearby Seal Cove Pond was compromised by dams. Of greatest concern is the way these barriers (even the one with a fish ladder) prevented alewives from reaching Seal Cove Pond to spawn.

In 2017, we began working with the Town of Tremont, Acadia National Park, and other partners to improve fish passage at two key locations along Seal Cove Brook—one at the current dam at Seal Cove Pond and the second downstream at the site of a former dam. Construction of these fishways began in July of 2022 and was completed as of September 2022 (pictured at the top of the page).

Alewives are food for mammals, birds, and other fish. They are vital to the health of the pond and the ocean. They are also a valuable source of bait. Diminishing ale­wife populations directly impact commer­cial fisheries and local livelihoods.

This project was a collaboration between Maine Coast Heritage Trust, the Town of Tremont, and a host of supporting organizations—including Acadia National Park, as well as a handful supportive landowners.

The project was funded by private donations and grants from the Town of Tremont, the Maine Department of Marine Resources, and the National Fish Passage Program at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


Take part in the annual fish count!

This May and June the annual fish count will take place. If you would like to participate in this community event, please reach out to Misha Mytar at .

For more information about the project, contact:

Misha Mytar
Senior Project Manager, MDI


Progress updates:

September 2022: Fishways are complete.

July 15, 2022: Construction of two nature-like fishways has begun and will continue through August.

May 2022: MCHT hosted an event about the design and construction plans for two nature-like fishways to be built this summer at the Seal Cove Pond dam and downstream at the site of a former dam. If you are interested but were not able to make it there is a Zoom recording available on the Town YouTube channel. 

March 2022: Mount Desert Islander publishes a story about the project

September 2021: Mount Desert Islander publishes a story about the project

July 2021: MCHT publishes story about the project.

June 2021: The Maine Islander publishes a story about the partnership project.