Government of New Brunswick


The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure is responsible for implementation of the Eel River Dam Removal Project.

The Eel River dam was constructed in 1963 to establish a water supply for major industries in the Dalhousie area.

The objectives of this project are:

  • a long-term solution to fish passage;
  • establishment of conditions that lead to the natural re-establishment of salt marsh wetlands upstream of the current dam location;
  • improvement of habitat for softshelled clams and other shellfish upstream and downstream of the dam.




The Eel River Dam Removal Project will be carried out in three stages:

Stage 1 – 2009: Design, permitting, planning and communication
This stage includes the finalization of detailed design, acquisition of permits, stakeholder and Aboriginal communication/notification, preparation of an Environmental Management Plan (EMP), and implementation of shoreline protection measures.

Stage 2 – 2010: Partial decommissioning (dam removal) activities
This stage consists of the excavation of a 150-metre wide opening on the northern portion of the dam. During the removal of this portion of the dam, the gates on the existing water control structure will be utilized to control water flows as necessary to allow the work to be completed.

Stage 3 – 2011: Complete the decommissioning (dam removal) activities
This stage includes the removal of the remainder of the dam and the existing water-control structure and any required site remediation/restoration.

Follow-up Monitoring Programs: 2011-2021
The follow-up monitoring program is to take place over a 10-year period and will commence following complete removal of the Eel River dam.