The Inter Fluve company, in cooperation with town officials, are studying the restoration of fish passage up the Megunticook River, by either lowering or removing the Montgomery Dam at the Camden Harbor.

Inter Fluve has offices around the country, including Cambridge, Mass.

Select board member Alison McKellar initiated talks about rethinking dam management and repair, during a discussion about repairing the Montgomery Dam in Dec. 2017.  She asked for more time to compare the value of reopening the Megunticook River to fish passage, and environmental improvements, with the ongoing costs of repairing numerous town-owned dams on the river. At the time, she secured agreement from board members to defer a decision on repairing Montgomery Dam, and consider alternatives.

Repair to the dam's concrete surface and repointing the granite blocks forming the sluiceway has been discussed over the past few years. Last June, voters approved up to $50,000 for the work. The town received one bid in 2017 for the repairs estimated in the range of $70,000 to $86,000, from Knowles Industrial Services Corp.

In February, Town Manager Audra Caler-Bell received a proposal from Inter Fluve, proposing a feasibility study to look at options for restoring fish passage to the river by either lowering or removing Montgomery Dam. In a recent manager's report, she explained that the study will position the town to receive funding from the Nature Conservancy and NOAA. She wrote that Jeff Senders and Gartley & Dorskey Engineering "did a great job in bringing this project together."

The Inter Fluve proposal includes involving "project stakeholders, the public, and local, state and federal agencies," as well as data collection in the field, a topographical survey, hydrologic analysis, consideration of the history and aesthetics of the dam's features, and models for removing and lowering the dam.

A study of fish species "that should be considered for conservation in the Megunticook River" as well as natural and technical fish passage approaches will be examined. The cost of the feasibility study is just under $36,000.