We'll soon begin work on the fish ladder---the scope of work depending on whether or not we receive two large grants, one from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the other from a private foundation. Stay tuned in mid-November for an update. In the meantime, please donate generously to help us substantially complete the restoration this winter!
Directions to the Fish Ladder
Take the Damariscotta exit to business Route 1. Go straight at the stop sign just past the Congregational Church. Take Route 215 north for approximately 1.6 miles. Look for a parking area just past the Austin Road on the left. Or, take the next left into the Fish House parking lot. Follow the path behind the fish house and you are there. Coming south on Route 1, take the Damariscotta exit and take a right on Rt 215 across from the Louis Doe Home Center. The parking lots decribed above are about 1.3 miles on the left.
Welcome to historic Damariscotta Mills, Maine – home of the state's oldest and most productive Alewife fishery. Help support the restoration efforts and sponsor a stone, boulder, wall, weir or pool. Restoration of the fish ladder is critical to the health of the Damariscotta River alewife stocks. Alewives are an important part of the food chain and they contribute to the health of the marine environment and to the lakes and streams where the fish spawn. In the spring, alewives are a critical source of fresh bait for local lobstermen who are setting out gear after a winter ashore. The Towns of Newcastle & Nobleboro have harvested alewives since the 1700s and, by balancing conservation and economic goals, they have carefully tended the Damariscotta River alewife stocks. Today, all funds received for harvested alewives are spent to maintain and restore the fish ladder and harvesting area.