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 10am to 1pm on Chalk Pond in Beddington. Embrace the season with the Downeast Salmon Federation for a day 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 a day of ice fishing, skiing, 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 meeting spot for those unfamiliar with the area. DSF volunteers will meet at the snack bar at 10 am to guide people to the pond.

The pond is accessible off of Route 193 in Beddington just before the Route 9 intersection.


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.  Local foods will be featured with 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.


Hatchery Tours

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.



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