VNRC is currently appealing a decision by the Water Resources Board (WRB) involving the re-licensing of the Clyde River Hydroelectric Project to the Vermont Supreme Court. This project consists of four dams on the lower Clyde River from Penshioner Pond to the junction of the Clyde and Lake Memphremagog in Newport.
The Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) issued a license (known as a 401 certification) in August of 2002 that failed to provide adequate terms and conditions to meet the water quality standards. In particular, the certificate failed to require adequate flows to provide for viable salmon spawning habitat in the Clyde River. Before the Clyde was dammed it provided significant habitat for landlocked Atlantic salmon. Historically, Lake Memphremagog salmon ran up the Clyde River in huge numbers, creating a local fishing frenzy. VNRC has diligently worked to ensure that any new certificate for the Clyde River dams requires that the dams be operated in a manner that returns these salmon runs to the Clyde.
In 2004 the WRB issued a decision that essentially upheld the inadequate 401 certification issued by ANR, despite VNRC’s s strong advocacy. Because of the devastating impacts on native salmon, VNRC has appealed the WRB decision to the Vermont Supreme Court.