18th Annual Smelt Fry & World Fish Migration Day Celebration
April 21st in Columbia Falls. Mark your calendars and come join us for a day of fisheries fun! Over the years, these festivities have grown from a small community potluck centered on the commercial smelt harvest to a well-known regional event serving 500+ guests. This year the event will be held on Saturday, April 21st from 11am until 4pm. Throughout downtown Columbia Falls, there will be activities and displays that feature the inspiring fisheries and conservation work of DSF and their partners. All of the DSF venues are within a ¼ mile radius of downtown Columbia Falls and transportation between sites is available. This is truly a family-friendly event!
The Annual Smelt Fry is a wonderful way to welcome spring. Come learn what projects are happening within the fisheries and about DSF’s regional involvement. An original rainbow smelt painting by Karen Talbot will be displayed in Union Hall, along with booths from DSF’s area partners and artwork from DSF’s annual youth art contest. Local foods will be featured with smelts, alewives, and mackerel being smoked at the DSF smoker, venison stew served at the Heritage Fish Camp, and a seasonal fried smelt dinner and dessert made with local blueberries at the Wreaths Across America gym.
2nd Annual Sipping Suds for Atlantic Salmon
April 25th at Mystic Brewing in Chelsea, MA. Following the very popular first inaugural Sipping Suds in 2017, we are excited to announce the 2nd annual Sipping Suds for Atlantic Salmon! Have you wanted to learn more about Atlantic salmon fishing and conservation? To meet and talk with people who have been? To meet with experts who are leading efforts to protect and restore the species? And to maybe win a trip Atlantic salmon fishing? Then this event is for you! For more information and to get a ticket to the event, go to the Eventbrite page HERE.
Union River Festival
Saturday, May 5th from 12pm-4pm – On the banks of the Union River at Ellsworth’s Harbor Park DSF will be joining Our Union River–a subcommittee of the Ellsworth Green Plan–to celebrate the Union River. In the morning Frenchman Bay Conservancy will be hosting a clean up on Card Brook–a Union River Tributary. After the clean up there will be a gathering and music along the river at the Ellsworth Harbor Park. DSF will be there with our smokehouse in tow.
Get to Know Your Trails: Pleasant River Community Forest
Wednesday, May 16th from 6pm-7:30pm – Get to know your DSF trail at the Pleasant River Community Forest in Columbia Falls. DSF’s Land Trust Director, Tanya Rucosky, will be leading a group hike through the community forest.
The property is accessed from the Cross Road and the Western end of the Tibbettstown Road in Columbia Falls. Look for the Pleasant River Community Forest signs. For more information call 483-4336.
For a Google map of the location paste the link below into your browser.
Open Smokehouse and River Herring Migration Celebration
Wednesday, May 23rd from 3:30pm-6:30pm – 13 Willow Street, East Machias – Visit the East Machias River as thousands of river herring head upstream, providing cover to out migrating salmon smolts. DSF will have our traditional smoke houses fired up and open for a tour.
Fins and Feathers Talk at the Acadia Birding Festival
Sunday, June 3rd at 10:30am – 1157 Main Street, Mount Desert, ME – DSF Executive Director, Dwayne Shaw, will explore the relationship between birds and the fish of Maine that have faced steep population declines in recent decades. Dwayne will discuss how we can enhance food stocks for birds through the restoration of our rivers. Learn more at www.acadiabirdingfestival.com.
Pleasant River Fish Cookout and Community Gathering
Friday, June 15th at 5:30pm – 187 Main Street, Columbia Falls – Join the Downeast Salmon Federation to celebrate the start of summer and the annual return of river herring to the Pleasant River. DSF will have our smoker and grill fired up and will provide smoked smelts and river herring. Bring anything else you’d like to add to the grill.
Stewardship Work Party
Saturday, July 14th at 10am – 2pm – Join us for a few hours of good old-fashioned stewardship work out on DSF’s Sprague Falls public access preserve. Make sure to pack a picnic lunch so you can join others for lunch break. Sprague Falls Preserve is located toward the end of Sprague Falls Road in Cherryfield.
Smelt Brook Paddle and Picnic
Friday, July 20th from 5:30pm-7pm – Join DSF at the newly purchased Smelt Brook Preserve in Sullivan. Bring your own kayak or canoe and life jacket, and be dressed to go out on the ocean. We’ll take off from the preserve, paddle around the upper part of Flander’s Bay, and head back for a low-key picnic on the shore.
Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Saturday, July 28th at 6:30pm – Knowlton Park, 11 Shore Rd, Ellsworth – Downeast Salmon Federation has partnered with numerous area nonprofits to host the first Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Downeast Maine! The Wild & Scenic Film Festival is the largest film festival of its kind. It will leave you feeling inspired and motivated to make a difference in your community and the world. There will be food, beverages, and a chance to connect with all the film festival hosts at 6:30pm. We’ll start showing the films around 7:30pm. Learn more at https://www.wildandscenicfilmfestival.org/.
Get to Know Your Trails: Sprague Falls
Sunday, August 5th from 1pm-2:30pm – Join DSF’s Land Trust Director Tanya Rucosky for a hike at Sprague Falls Preserve. We will start at the parking lot near the end of Sprague Falls Road in Cherryfield.
The Peter Gray Hatchery is open for tours! Downeast Salmon Federation would like to invite you to come tour the Peter Gray Hatchery in East Machias and show you all this amazing facility has to offer. Eggs are delivered to the hatchery in January and we are running full time from then until the fish are stocked into the river in October. Drop-ins are always welcome. If you have a large group or would like to ensure someone will be at the hatchery, please feel free to call ahead at 207-255-0676 and schedule a tour with one of our dedicated staff.
Past 2018 Events
Public Hearing on Pilot Study to Restore Endangered Atlantic Salmon Habitat
Saturday, January 13th – 3:30pm – Can the lowly clamshell help save a species? Clamshells might be part of the answer to keeping Atlantic Salmon in our rivers. DSF is planning to use shells to treat streams damaged by the long-term effects of acid rain, and we are holding a public hearing to answer questions and take comments from the public about the project at the Peter Gray Hatchery, 13 Willow St, East Machias on Saturday, January 13 at 3:30pm. Everyone interested in the project is encouraged to attend.
Like an antacid in a sour stomach, calcium-rich limestone or shells (from which limestone is made) neutralizes acid. Further, calcium helps fish form strong bones and healthy jaws. Projects in Norway, Sweden, and Canada have shown that adding calcium to water improves the survival and growth of Atlantic Salmon and trout. Downeast Maine does not have a lot of limestone, but it does have clamshells–a lot of clamshells. This waste product from the seafood industry is up to 98% acid neutralizing calcium carbonate.
High acidity and low calcium weakens or kills salmon. Adding calcium, in the form of clamshells, will help Maine’s salmon grow and thrive. Our goal is to send healthy smolts (teenage salmon) out to sea and see them return to spawn in the coming years.”
The proposed pilot project will start in the East Machias watershed. DSF hopes to expand the project to other streams as positive results come in. DSF’s partners in this project will include Maine Departments of Environmental Protection and Marine Resources. The project is funded by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund and the Onion Foundation.
Hops and Hoppers (Fly Tying 101) at Airline Brewing Co. Pub
Monday, January 29th – 6pm-7:30pm at Airline Brewing Co. on Main Street in Ellsworth – Led by skilled fly tyer and DSF board member Joe Horn. Learn the art of fly tying or, if you’re already a skilled fly tyer, come tie a fly or two and maybe give a newbie a few pointers in the process. We’ll share fishing stories, drink some delicious brews from Airline Brewing Co., and tell you about the fisheries and river restoration work going on here in Downeast Maine! $5 suggested donation.
Ice Fishing and Winter Fun on Chalk Pond
February 17th from 12:30pm to 3:30pm on Chalk Pond in Beddington. Embrace the season with the Downeast Salmon Federation for an afternoon out on the ice!
DSF has protected 2,400 feet of frontage around the southern end of Chalk Pond on the Narraguagus River. This land that was donated by the Furbush family is part of a campaign to conserve 35 miles of river frontage on our Downeast rivers, ensuring public access for future generations and helping protect and restore habitat for Atlantic salmon and other sea-run fish including brook trout.
Join us for ice fishing, bird watching, and other winter fun out on Chalk Pond. DSF will provide a warming fire, hot dogs, and smoked fish as well as some volunteers to help those new to ice fishing.
The Airline Snack Bar–Route 9 just before the intersection with 193 in Beddington–will act as a meeting spot for those unfamiliar with the area. DSF volunteers will meet at the snack bar at 12:30pm to guide people to the pond.
The pond is accessible off of Route 193 in Beddington just before the Route 9 intersection.
Fly Fishing Film Tour
March 2nd, 3rd, and 4th – Frontier, 14 Maine Street, Fort Andross building, Mill 3, Brunswick, Maine – The Fly Fishing Film Tour (aka F3T) is returning once again! Fly Fishing in Maine (FFIM) is very proud to bring the tour back to Maine. This year the event will be bigger and better than ever, with a smorgasbord of *extended events (vendors, speakers, Iron Fly competition, expanded Silent Auction) on Saturday, in addition to the multiple screenings. This year’s films highlight exciting and exotic angling locales such as Alaska, Costa Rica, Africa, and even Dubai!
All proceeds from ticket sales and the Silent Auction will benefit FFIM’s Grassroots Grants program, in support of local conservation and education efforts. Past grant recipients have include Casting for Recovery, Trout Unlimited, Project SHARE, Coastal Conservation Association, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and many others!
Fly Fishing in Maine (FFIM) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, protecting and preserving Maine’s fisheries. DSF will be participating in the expo on Saturday, March 3rd.