Fish Happenings

g>April 23, 2015

Sprng weather has certainly arrived--the grass has begun to turn green, crocuses and even a few daffodils are in bloom, and many birds that left for the winter are back! We've watched osprey flying over the bay and a group of 15 cormorants were fishing as a group this morning. Seals have been spotted too. When the fish arrive, the predators will be plentiful and hungry!

Quilt Raffle

Check out the amazing appliqued quilt made by Betty Lu Brydges of Damariscotta Mills--click the link at the bottom of this section. Purchase tickets ($5 each or 6 for $25) at Skidompha Library until May 1 or at Alewife Fabrics from May 1-May 22. You can also purchase tickts online in the Support Us section of this website. Note that you want quilt raffle tickets in the Comments section.

Fish Ladder Restoration Festival 2015

Speaking of the fish, planning for the 8th annual Fish Ladder Restoration Festival is well underway. The festival, again held on Memorial Day weekend, will only be two days this year, Saturday, May 23 and Sunday, May 24. Save the dates! The fish should be plentiful and we'll have the events you've come to enjoy and a few new ones.

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. 

Thank You!

We (and the fish!) are grateful for all the help we've had for the restoration. We couldn't be doing it without the commitment and perseverence of our wonderful fish ladder community! And, we are grateful for grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Elmina Sewell Foundation, the Horizon Foundation, the Davis Conservation Foundation, the Edward Myers Conservation Trust and from support from many individuals and businessesDownload: Download

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Welcome to historic Damariscotta Mills, Maine – home of Maine’s oldest fish ladder and most productive alewife fishery. 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.

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