The Presumpscot has a rich history. The river was settled early in Maine’s history (the first dam was constructed at Smelt Hill in the early 1730’s). The power and water supplied by the Presumpscot were fundamentally important to the early development of the area. Without the river there would have been no mills and little development in the area. The Presumpscot was the site of Maine’s first pulp mill, first hydroelectric project, only significant canal, and largest gunpowder mill.
Interest in reclaiming the river was given a boost in 1992 when the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife undertook one of its most successful efforts to reestablish a trout and salmon fishery in the upper reach of the river, below Sebago Lake. More recently, the removal of the Smelt Hill Dam at head-of-tide, and cessation of the Westbrook Mill's pulp operation have combined to improve the condition of the lower river and air quality in the area. As in the past, this has given rise to a new set of competing interests, which are being addressed by this planning effort.
Presumpscot River Management Plan Steering Committee, "A Plan for the Future of the Presumpscot River: Cumulative Impacts to Environmental Conditions on the River and its Shorelands" (2003). Publications. 317.
Watersheds, Presumpscot River