BOSTON – U.S. Coast Guard units in Maine are scheduled to begin ice-breaking operations on the Kennebec River during the week of March 12, 2012.
The public is being advised to remove their fish shacks as soon as possible, if safe to do so, in advance of Coast Guard ice-breaking operations.
"Anyone who still has ice fishing shacks or gear on the Kennebec River should remove them as soon as possible and should proceed with extreme caution in areas where the Coast Guard will break ice," said Chief Warrant Officer Bob Albert, the ice operations mission manager for Coast Guard Sector Northern New England.
During the Kennebec River Spring Break-out, the Coast Guard will break and flush ice from Merrymeeting Bay to Gardiner, to reduce the risk of ice jamming and flooding as inland snow and river ice begins to melt and flow out to sea.
The 65-foot Portland, Maine-based Coast Guard Cutter Shackle, 65-foot Rockland-based Coast Guard Cutter Tackle, and 65-foot Southwest Harbor, Maine-based Coast Guard Cutter Bridle will participate in the operation.
"This major annual effort, made possible through close collaboration with the Maine River Flow Advisory Commission along with federal, state, county and local agencies, reduces the potential of ice jamming and flooding," said Capt. Christopher Roberge, commander of Coast Guard Sector Northern New England. "The Spring Break-out is a sign that spring is approaching; and despite decreased ice coverage and thickness this year, compared to recent years, there is still a need for our crews to perform this critical and dynamic mission."