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Dennys River
Photo by Greg Mackey

Dennys River

Guidelines for Use of LMF Properties

Walking/Hiking Wildlife Observation/Study Cross-country skiing/Snow-shoeing Horseback Riding Dog-Walking Mountain Biking Backcountry Camping Fishing Hunting/Trapping Snowmobile Trails Swimming Canoeing/Kayaking 

Project Description

The Dennys is a river rich in superlatives. Among all the Downeast salmon rivers that are rated as “outstanding” for their water quality and wildlife values, the Dennys has the richest wildlife, the most diverse riverine and riparian plant communities, and the longest stretch of river without road crossings or camps.

Thanks to the efforts of The Nature Conservancy, the landowner (International Paper), the Land for Maine’s Future Program, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and many other valued partners, the Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission has acquired several tracts totaling 4,707 acres. These lands along the 18-mile course of the Dennys River from Meddybemps Lake to the historic dam in Dennysville, support the state’s highest concentration of nesting bald eagles, a rare species of freshwater mussel, and a wide variety of waterfowl that rely on the river for breeding and wintering grounds and migratory stopovers.

One of the last eight runs of wild Atlantic salmon in the country, the Dennys River historically has produced nearly 20 percent of the total U.S. Atlantic salmon seaboard run. Yet the Dennys River spawning and nursery grounds represent just 2 percent of the entire river system, making them particularly vulnerable to disruption. Protecting this vital habitat will aid State efforts to restore a thriving salmon population to the Dennys. Conservation along the river also benefits the other fish that frequent its waters: alewives, rainbow trout, smelt, shad, sea-run brook trout, striped bass and American eel.

The protected riverfront acreage allows for continued recreational use by the public and sustainable forest management practices that will not damage sensitive ecosystems in the river’s watershed.