The Seal Cove Pond Fishways Project

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

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.

But there is something missing from this sweet spot.

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

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.

Previous efforts to restore fish passage have been unsuccessful. With new site assessments, concept plans, and land­owner support, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, the Town of Tremont, and a host of supporting organizations—including Acadia National Park—have developed plans to construct nature-like fishways at two sites.

If you love MDI and the coast of Maine, and care about the natural resources on which healthy environments and com­munities depend, please consider helping with this restoration effort.

Your gift will:

  • Construct nature-like fishways at two key sites on Seal Cove Brook
  • Bring back 60,000 alewives to Seal Cove Pond each year
  • Improve the health of the Seal Cove Pond watershed
  • Contribute to the recovery of Gulf of Maine fisheries.


For more information, contact

Nicky Blanchard
Director of Development


Misha Mytar
Senior Project Manager, MDI


Project details

Location: Tremont, Hancock County
Project size: 2 fishway sites
Project Cost: $300,000

Fundraising will cover infrastructure invest­ments and MCHT operational support.

Progress updates:

MCHT is hosting 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.

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.