See below for directions to the fish ladder.
May 22, 2016 - The fish are running well!! We continue to have a good charge of fish in and it looks as if the the numbers will remain high this week. Counts have been excellent, with sometimes more than 500 fish counted in 10 minutes. The three big birds that depend on alewives at this time of year--eagle, osprey, and great blue heron--are around in the trees, in the air, and occasionally in the water when you catch that part of the show. I've seen some amazing photographs this year.
Harvesting Alewives May 22, 2016 Harvesting went well on the first day-- last Friday, May 20. Between morning and evening, we harvested 82 bushels of fish for lobsterman from harbors near and far. We'll be harvesting at 5am tomorrow.morning and continuing morning and evening through the week (except for Friday afternoon).
Save the dates for the 9th annual Fish Ladder Restoration Festival! The Fish Ladder Restoration Festival will again be held on Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday May 28 and Sunday, May 29. In addition to the festival, there will be 5K and 10K road races on Sunday, May 29 beginning at 8am-- To register: http://www.runinarace.com/Alewives/index.html. And, check out our Events & Calendar page for info about the Adam Ezra Concert.
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 left.
Welcome to historic Damariscotta Mills, Maine – home of one of Maine’s oldest and most productive alewife fisheries. The fish ladder was constructed by the Towns of Nobleboro and Newcastle in 1807 at the state’s request after mills had blocked access to the fresh water falls for nearly a century. In 2007, after two centuries of use, the fish ladder needed a major restoration and the project was initiated by the Towns in collaboration with the Nobleboro Historical Society. 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 serve as a source of fresh bait for local lobstermen who are setting out gear after a winter ashore. The Towns of Newcastle and 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.