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.
Upper pool from the alewives’ point of view. May, 2020
The draw took place today a little after 9:30am at the Nobleboro Historical Society. The star of the show was the three year old granddaughter of one of our committee members. She boldly reached into the Big Jug containing 620 ticket stubs and took out #1265. In her audience was a Mr Bryant of Pennsylvania […]
9:30am on Labor Day at Nobleboro Historical Center (small building next to Nobleboro Central High School). Public welcome.
On Saturday there were fish ladder volunteers at the fish house, selling t-shirts and other fish ladder swag, as well as tickets for a chance on the amazing fish ladder quilt made by Betty Lu Brydges. Sales will not be open today, Sunday. There are still alewives coming in although the run is definitely winding […]
A custom made quilt, by Betty Lu Brydges, will be raffled to raise funds in order to replace the 70 year old foot bridge that spans the pools of the Fish Ladder. The quilt can be viewed at the Skidompha Public Library on Main Street in Damariscotta from February 17 until August 31. 700 raffle tickets […]
The draw for the quilt raffle takes place on Labor Day September 5 at the Nobleboro Historical Society — Last days to view the quilt or buy tickets. See photo and information at https://damariscottamills.org/quilt-raffle/
Fewer fish came in this morning than in previous mornings but there are still plenty of alewives to see if you visit the fish ladder today (and for the next few days). As the run comes to an end, smaller alewives tend to bring up the rear. Most alewives during the run are 4 years […]
The 5k road race is underway as I write this and, despite the predicted showers, several of our volunteers will be at the fish house today selling fish ladder t-shirts and other fish ladder swag. Look for even more fun tomorrow, when our famous fisheye pudding ice cream will be available. Not a whole festival […]
It is truly a banner year for alewives! They are in by the thousands — everywhere you look, there are fish! They are streaming in by the fish house, the fish ladder is full, and they are passing into Damariscotta Lake by the thousands. It’s an amazing time to visit the fish ladder! If you […]
Alewives are in thick! If you stand on the Route 215 bridge and look into the water in either direction you’ll see solid alewives. The same is true in the waters by the fish house and the run leading up to the fish ladder entrance and the harvesting area. Most importantly, alewives by the thousands […]
The run is fully underway now. Alewives have moved up into every pool in the fish ladder and many are passing into the lake to spawn. We’ve been harvesting since Wednesday and many lobstermen have left with totes full of fish, which are the very best bait! Osprey are diving for fish right by the fish […]