By Leslie H. Dixon
CASCO — A state biologist was on scene Friday, Oct. 14, to remove stranded fish from the mill pond above the Pleasant Lake Dam as work began on the $500,000 joint project between Casco and Otisfield to replace the failing dam on Route 121.
The Division of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife arrived at the dam Friday morning after the mill pond, situated between Pleasant Lake and the dam. It had been drained in the previous days to allow access for biologists to remove any stranded fish and putting them into the lake for safekeeping.
Ross Cudlitz of Engineering Assistance and Design Inc. in Yarmouth, one of two engineers who are overseeing the dam replacement project for the two towns, said work to demolish the dam would begin after the fish were safe.
A coffer dam was built by Route 121 where Pleasant Lake empties out before the pond was dewatered. Workers were also building a construction access to the dam, which is located beside the Hancock Lumber offices on Route 121.
Voters in both towns agreed to split the $500,000 cost to replace the failing dam at separate town meetings earlier this year. The towns face significant fines from the Maine Department of Environmental protection if the dam fails.
The work is being done by T-Buck Construction of Auburn for $421,639.