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
On September 24, the Damariscotta Mills fish ladder community lost a dear friend— Barbara Betts (fondly called Barbie). During the spring, Barbie was one of the first people walking the Route 215 bridge by the fish stream. A fast friend of Mulligan sisters (Sal and MJ), Barbie could be seen at the smokehouse cleaning the […]
The hot weather put an end to this years alewife run, which was already winding down. The final count of alewives getting into Damariscotta Lake to spawn is 1,047,918! Now that’s a lot of fish!
After a cold and wet Memorial Day weekend, when the alewives backed out almost entirely, sunshine and warmth this week brought them back into the fish ladder. The run is definitely slowing but there are still fish to see. Yesterday we observed a seal swimming along the entrance to the fish ladder. He (or she) […]
Cold and rainy weather has taken a toll on the alewife run. This morning, there are few to no new alewives in the fish ladder and not many throughout the fish ladder. Sad to see after the huge masses of fish of the last few weeks. We won’t know until the weather warms whether or […]
After a week ‘s break, another school of alewives entered the fish ladder yesterday. Alewives have been flipping in Great Salt Bay in the evenings for a week so it seems likely that the run has begun in earnest. The sky is busy with birds— Osprey diving to catch fish and eagles among them. It’s […]