Dead River Flow Study

Project Name: Flagstaff Project - Dead River

Summary: Study identified balanced flow regimes for multi-use watershed

Client: Central Maine Power

Project Location: Dead River within Kennebec River Watershed, ME

Project Size: 43 miles

Services Provided:
•  Hydrologic Analysis
•  Study Scoping and Plan Development
•  FERC Compliance Management and
•  Recreation and Aesthetic Planning
•  Fish Population and Movement Study
•  Instream Flow Incremental Methodology
    (IFIM) Study

Project Timeframe:
1993 - 1994

Relationship with Client: Since 1970’s

Client Needs:
Central Maine Power’s (CMP’s) Flagstaff Project (now owned by Brookfield Renewable Energy) includes Flagstaff Lake, one of the largest in Maine. The outlet dam controls flows to a premier fishing and boating segment of the Dead River and is a major contributor to the Kennebec River watershed, one of the most heavily developed river basins in the state. As part of the relicensing for the hydroelectric storage project, CMP was requested to determine flow regimes appropriate to meeting multiple, often conflicting, uses including hydroelectric generation, habitat protection, fishing, whitewater boating, and downstream water quality and water quantity.
Kleinschmidt Solution:
Kleinschmidt first performed a hydrologic analysis, including a water balance model, to assess the impact of project operation on lake levels and downstream flows. Kleinschmidt then designed and implemented studies for determining optimum flow releases which included designing and conducting an expert angler survey, creel survey, fish movement study, IFIM habitat model, and whitewater boating preference study. Working closely with all parties, Kleinschmidt analyzed relationships among uses to prioritize the potential flow conflicts that required resolution, and determined that the most significant conflict was between boaters and fishing (boaters wanted occasional high minimum flow releases while fisherman wanted consistent lower releases) and related these to project operating rule curves.
Client Benefits:
Based on the study results, Kleinschmidt identified flow regimes that balanced opportunities for recreators, aquatic habitat, and the needs of hydropower operations throughout the Kennebec River basin.