Tag Archives: alewives

Maine’s river herring making dramatic comeback

River herring – in the midst of a dramatic comeback in Maine’s rivers with the recent removal of dams that blocked their spawning runs for decades – had a banner spring run this year, with millions of fish traveling up the Kennebec and Penobscot and the best run in decades recorded on the St. Croix. This was despite heavy rains this spring that created extra challenges for the fish. The recovery of the small schooling fish is having dramatic secondary effects, as they represent a perfect food source for everything from bald eagles to Atlantic cod, and researchers anticipate future benefits as the herring’s numbers grow in the coming decade. click here to read the story 10:10

This year, a welcome switch on bait supply for Maine lobstermen

Bait freezers along the coast are full of herring and pogies, and even alewives, which means that bait is not only available, it is also much less expensive than last year when herring cost as much as 60 cents a pound, said Pat Keliher, commissioner of the state Department of Marine Resources. This year the lobstermen’s go-to bait costs about half as much. That’s still not a great price, Keliher said. Herring fetched about 18 cents a pound at the start of the 2015 lobstering season. “I won’t say we’re in great shape, but we are in a heck of a lot better shape than we were last year,” Keliher said. He attributed the strong start to basic supply-and-demand economics. click here to read the story 08:18

In Benton, dinner crowd says alewives are good eating

The menu included locally smoked whole alewife and two varieties of alewife chowder and lobster, along with traditional sides such as corn, potatoes and rolls. It was a sold-out crowd Friday night at the Benton Grange as about 100 people came together in what is becoming an annual feast to celebrate the Benton Grange, or alewife. The dinner is a way to recognize the small fishes’ annual spring run from the Gulf of Maine upstream to spawn in inland lakes. Benton has the distinction of hosting the largest run in the state and one of the largest on the East Coast, estimated at nearly 3 million fish. Read the rest here 19:14

Maine legislators reject (alewive) gaspereau-blocking bill – Canadian delegation credited for helping convince Maine committee

A legislative committee in Maine has unanimously rejected a bill that would have blocked the gaspereau migration in the St. Croix River. Last week, Canada was represented at public hearings by Frank Ruddock, acting consul general in Boston and Harvey Millar, the area manager for the Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Among other things, they reminded the committee of Canada’s shared interests in the St. Croix River and emphasized the importance of the restoration of the gaspereau population. Read the rest here  10:43

Latest dispute over alewives in St. Croix River may lead to independent review

The LePage administration wants to create a working group to examine the scientific arguments over alewives in the St. Croix River as a way to defuse the latest flare-up in a debate over the fish that has raged for two decades. Yet Monday’s hours-long legislative hearing showed that alewives – a type of river herring occupying a critical niche in the  – remain divisive even though they have yet to return to the St. Croix in large numbers. Read the rest here 15:09

Alewives counted one-by-one on some Maine rivers

FishLadders_09The alewife, which returns from the Atlantic each spring to spawn in lakes and ponds, has had a drastic drop in population from its southernmost habitat in North Carolina all the way into Newfoundland. Scientists believe that alewives’ loss of spawning habitat, to dams and hydroelectric facilities, is a major factor in the decline of the species, along with predators, overfishing and other factors. Read more here 09:20

Last-minute arrival to Maine alewives festival: the fish

Now that the alewife run has begun, King said it will accelerate quickly. At Webber Pond on Seven Mile Stream in Vassalboro, he said he counted four fish Tuesday, 1,000 on Wednesday and more than 3,000 by midafternoon Friday. “For the environment, it’s a huge win,” said Jeffrey Pierce, president of the Alewife Harvesters of Maine. However, Pierce said the prevalence of predators raises new questions about wildlife management. Read more here  09:13

An Evolutionary Family Drama

0421OPEDnyquist-master675Alewives are anadromous fish: Born in freshwater, they spend their lives in the ocean, returning annually to their birthplaces to spawn. Until colonial-era dams cut off their migration,,, Read more here NYT 08:05

Alewives spawn optimism – Supporters expect noticeable benefits from the return of the species to the St. Croix River above Grand Falls Dam.

BAILEYVILLE – Here in the shadow of the Grand Falls Dam power house, the fish ladder is clear for alewives to climb, the boards that once prevented their passage having been taken away. From the top of the ladder, the schooling fish have access to a staggering expanse of spawning, nursing, and feeding habitat: more than 65,000 acres of river, stream, and lake bottom straddling the Maine-New Brunswick border. [email protected]

Return of alewives on St. Croix River celebrated

BDNBAILEYVILLE, Maine — For nearly 20 years, conservationists and, at times, state natural resource agencies, have sought to open the St. Croix River watershed to alewives,,, continued

Maine alewives heading for newly opened fishways this week – In time, the St. Croix River could have the largest alewife run in the country.

BAILEYVILLE Me.— Alewives are expected to swim upriver of the Grand Falls dam on  eastern Maine’s St. Croix River this week for the first time in 22  years. continued

Restoration efforts put spotlight on once plentiful alewives (“river herring,”)

BDN – Despite alewives being the focus of sometimes contentious efforts to improve their access to Down East Maine freshwater spawning habitats, these migratory fish remain something of a mystery to many, while at the same time remaining a favorite food for wide variety of Maine wildlife. continued

Renovated Damariscotta Mills Maine fish ladder ‘a magic thing’

NOBLEBORO, Maine — When the alewives return in the next few weeks to Salt Bay at the head of the Damariscotta River, ready for the arduous journey leaping from pool to pool to reach Damariscotta Lake for spawning, they’ll find a new fish ladder to ease their passage. continued

Let those alewives go

Culture, Atlantic salmon, the lobster industry, the broader environment and even bass fishermen could benefit from the alewives’ return. The state should remove the wooden board blocking the fish passage at Grand Falls Dam before the river herring’s spring spawning run. There is still time if LD 72 is passed on an emergency basis. Is there the political pluck? continue reading

Don’t let this legislation get away: Open the St. Croix to alewives – Dennis Damon

Alewives are river herring that need to return from the ocean to their river to spawn. It is part of their natural life cycle. If this cycle is broken, they will die without producing the next generation of alewives. Without a next generation, an entire run of alewives will eventually cease to exist. To me, that’s the classic definition of genocide. continue

Rival measures would restore alewives into the St. Croix

The future of spawning alewife runs in the St. Croix River will likely be decided by state lawmakers next month as they evaluate rival bills aimed at allowing the fish back into the watershed. Alewives, or “river herring,” are a small schooling fish that spend most of their life in the oceans but travel up freshwater rivers in spring to spawn. Read more here