Swanton residents want dam to stay

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Some Swanton residents are upset about a proposal to remove a dam from the Mississquoi River as a way to reopen seven miles of spawning habitat for several Lake Champlain fish species.

Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Wayne Laroche feels that removing the unused dam would restore historic runs of walleye pike and rebuild populations of lake sturgeon and muskellunge. Laroche says the proposal could help the town attract more angling-related tourism.

Laroche met Monday with town officials and about 30 local residents.

The dam is owned by the village of Swanton. It was built in 1929 and powered local mills until the 1940s.

Village Trustee Suzanne Washburn says there are other circumstances that have caused fish to disappear, such as chemical spills.

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