Maine TU Business member opposes changes to Clean Water Rule

HMH Vises is a small company, located right at the last falls of the Saco River as it empties into the ocean, in Biddeford, Maine. Jon Larrabee is the principal owner at HMH. He’s an engineer and a machinist and has over 35 years of experience as a canoe guide, fishing guide and fly fisherman. He’s also a big fan of clean water.

“Our customers are fly fishermen. They buy our products because they love to fish," Larabee says. "Whether that fishing takes them to northern Maine or to Alaska, Georgia, or New Mexico, the critical element is water – clean water. Our customers have a vested interest in clean water across the United States of America. In fact, all Americans have a vested interest in clean water, since we all live downstream and what happens upstream affects all of us.”

That’s why this great TU Business member opposes the changes proposed by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency to significantly narrow the scope of protections for our nation's waters. The proposed changes would remove the protections of the Clean Water Act from many small streams, especially the so-called ephemeral streams that flow after rainfall or snow-melt. These streams play an important role in fly fishing and in recreational fishing across America. They provide spawning, brood-rearing and feeding habitats crucial to many fish populations.

Jon is concerned about the impacts of this proposal on fish – and on fly fishermen.

“My customers tie flies to fish with, and I make the vises for those customers. HMH's economic livelihood depends on healthy fish populations and therefore it depends on healthy streams that start with clean water at the headwaters, wetlands and ephemeral streams," Larabee says. 

“We must preserve and not degrade the Clean Water Act,” says Jon. “Doing so ensures not only the Saco River, with its headwaters in Franconia Notch New Hampshire, to its tidal basin outside my window, but every river and stream in America, starts and flows healthy and clean. This will preserve great fishing and give the best outdoors experience possible for all Americans.”


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