Welcome to historic Damariscotta Mills, Maine – home to one of Maine’s oldest and most productive alewife fisheries. The stone fish ladder that is the centerpiece of Damariscotta Mills was constructed in 1807 by the Towns of Nobleboro and Newcastle because, for nearly a century, mills blocked access for fish to the freshwater falls. In 2007, after two centuries of use, the fish ladder was in poor condition so a restoration project was initiated by a strong community group working with the Towns of Nobleboro and Newcastle and the Nobleboro Historical Society.
This year we passed 1,069,488 alewives into Damariscotta Lake to spawn. It’s just great to get more than one million—it’s always our goal since the restoration. It was an interesting year—the fish came in late and stayed late but they did their job.
Due to changes in state policy, the fish ladder will be open to the public beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, June 2. We are excited to share this year’s great fish run, which will last for at least another week and probably for two more weeks. To take advantage of this awesome opportunity to see Damariscotta Mills […]
The fish have slowed down considerably—very few new schools of alewives are entering the fish ladder and any fish that are coming in are small. Small fish, often 3 year olds, are typical of the end of the run. These young fish, not ready to spawn for another year, seem to be practicing for the […]
The last harvest of the year was on Tuesday morning, June 9. Very few fish are coming in now and run-backs, fish that have spawned and are heading back to sea, are abundant—especially at the end of the day.Thanks for a great year. See you next year!
Not to be missed – on Thursday, June 11 at noon, the Natural Resource Council of Maine will host a webinar called Maine’s Sea-Run Fish – Stories of Success. Deb Wilson will present slides showing the Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration and Nick Bennett of NRCM will look at other river herring runs in Maine, […]
Many people have taken the opportunity to visit the fish ladder since we opened it to the public on June 2. The alewives have been thick and the show—complete with eagles and Osprey and occasional herons—continues. That said, we expect to see the run slow down in the coming week. The signs are there….many of […]
With so many alewives in, we’ve had a great harvest this year. The plan is to harvest this Monday, June 8, although we may not have as many fish as last week. The run-backs have begun in earnest (fish returning after spawning) and fewer schools of alewives are coming in. Still, we’ll see what tomorrow […]
WMTW New 8 report about the Fish Ladder