Downeast Salmon Federation collaborates with local schools and the greater community to offer in-depth educational programming about salmon and watersheds. DSF works with a variety of groups in the field and in the classroom (or the picnic table, if need be) to bring watershed conservation to life. The following are recurring programs, but if you have something else in mind for your group, please contact DSF at

Fish Friends

salmon fin clip

Alexander students take part in the fin clip.

Administered in cooperation with US Fish and Wildlife, the Fish Friends program brings Atlantic salmon eggs from Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery to elementary, middle and high schools for students to raise and release. Students care for the eggs until they hatch as alevin and grow to be fry, and then the classes stock them into our salmon rivers and hope for their return as adults. DSF has added additional presentations and hands-on experiences on spawning and rearing and habitat to round out the learning experience.

Field Trips

education-riverDowneast Salmon Federation offers tours of both of its fish hatcheries in East Machias and Columbia Falls. These tours can be done as a complement to the Salmon in Schools program or independently. Depending on the time of year, visitors can help with some hatchery tasks and see the fish swimming in the river water inside their flow-through tanks.

Machias River Wigwams Program

Together with the Cobscook Community Learning Center, Downeast Salmon Federation offers a summer program to Washington County youth from age 14 to 17. This program is a dual-mission habitat restoration and youth outdoor career development experience.  Teens learn from outdoor professionals and participate in habitat restoration projects, all while camping out for two weeks at the Wigwams Rapid on the Machias River. The program is free of charge and offers a $200 honorarium to participants who successfully complete the two weeks.