Monday, May 27, 2013

Damariscotta Mills Fishladder Restoration Festival

Here in Maine, we celebrate Memorial Day in typical fashion, with a parade in the morning to honor those lost, and a barbecue in the afternoon to welcome in the summer season. Not so typical is the annual Fishladder Restoration Festival, held here in Damariscotta Mills (a mere five minute ride from my house), where you'll find Maine's oldest and most productive Alewife fishery.

But what are alewives, you might be asking. Well. Let me show you...they look like this:


Can you see them? There's a lot! Alewives are members of the herring family, possessing slender bodies, greyish green on their back and silver on their sides and belly. They spend most of their life at sea but return to freshwater to spawn. They are also a primary source of bait for lobstermen each spring. Here's another shot of them from higher ground. They look like little snakes, don't they? Wriggling their way through the water...


Anyway. If you're ever interested, here's what else you can look forward to:




Breakfast & Lunch
Smoked Alewives
Fish Goods & Gear Sale
Antique Car Rides
10k Raffle Tickets For Sale
Face Painting & Ice Cream
Lots of Live Music
Restoration Tour
Mulligan’s Smokehouse
Top & Bottom of Ladder
Lower Ladds Hill
Fish House
Alewives Fabrics
Fish House
Mid-Lower Ladder 
How does your town celebrate Memorial Day?

32 comments:

  1. So the festival is to raise money to fix the fishladders so the alewives can get upstream to spawn?
    What we do varies every year, but the first thing we always do is hang out our flag.

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    1. I was hoping to have a pic of the actual fish ladder (which is pretty cool) but it's been raining like heck all weekend - I do see sun today though so maybe I can snag a piccie at some point...or anyone can go to the website and see pics of the ladder.

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  2. What a most amazing name for a fish! Alewives!! Brilliant! Have a wonderful Memorial Day event! Take care
    x

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    1. It is a pretty cool name :)

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  3. that's a whole lotta fish! Hope there aren't any cats around....

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    1. I expect there are but I doubt they want to get their little paws wet :)

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  4. I just went over and read about the fish ladder. Quite involved! Have a wonderful day :)

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    1. It is very involved and a project that's been going on for a while. Pretty cool, tho! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  5. Wow! Love that picture, and the info to go with it. :) I don't know what our town does, though I'm sure there are plenty of things going on . . . but it doesn't have the homey feel of a small town celebration (which I love and miss!). We went out to breakfast and will meet with friends to barbecue (assuming it's not still raining). :)

    Enjoy your Memorial Day!

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    1. I hear you on the rain. We've had nothing but all week until today, which is delightfully sunny and breezy. I'll try to send some your way!

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  6. This post reminded me that I haven't take any pictures of the carp with my new camera. Will have to do that.

    PS: In answer to your comment on my post - you are right about reading being calming and I cannot believe how I totally forgot the fun of sitting outside, reading.

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  7. Oh, but they do look like snakes, yipes! But, umm, that Alewives Fabrics looks really interesting. I'm off to Google it in a bit. My little village isn't doing much this year because the weather hasn't been cooperating. But hub and I and friends fired up the grill this afternoon. Nice!

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    1. Yeah, Monday was our only decent day; it's been raining since last weekend :(

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  8. We just went to the fish hatchery in Durango, Co yesterday. I posted a pic of the feeding frenzy on my son's blog.
    I think the fish in Durango are rainbow trout, though.

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    1. Rainbow trout - must be pretty, yes?

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  9. Fun! I don't often go to festivals in town, as they're just too darned busy. Great for the vendors, but miserable for me (I'm not a fan of crowds). I've never heard of an alewife.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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    1. I had never heard of them until I moved here.

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  10. Hmm? Interesting.
    Our little town holds a cemetery service that is run by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars, etc. The high school sends its jazz band down to sing. Both my boys have been in the choirs. Our oldest is in college now, but our youngest is a Freshman and has followed in his brother's footsteps. The place looks beautiful with all the American flags.

    -Jimmy

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  11. Fascinating! I am sending you sunshine~
    My Mom is in Maine and so tired of the gray~
    I had not heard of this?! Hope you had a great time~

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    1. We got it for Monday - thanks :)

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  12. Hi, Marcy,

    I hope you had a fun day. I LOVE festivals in little country towns. Here is the BIG city of Chicago, there was a parade on Saturday... COLD, overcast, windy. So much for summer. All weekend it was like this. Barely making the very low 60's but with a cooler windchill by the lake... where I live.

    When you get a chance, I'd love to here about your forthcoming published book.... YAY!

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    1. Monday was nice and today is sunny, too - finally. I was beginning to get depresses with all the rain. We needed some of it but not all of it!

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  13. So -- um -- the fish need a ladder? Is there a charity set up for donations for that? lol

    I'm not a big fish fan (don't eat them though hubby adores them), but I'm thrilled that you enjoyed some beautiful outdoor time, some great food and drink, and the company of fellow fish lovers! :-)

    (And I sure hope those fish get their ladder!)

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    1. The ladder helps them get back to fresh water to spawn and the festival raises money to complete it and maintain it.

      I do eat fish but never alewives!

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  14. No so typical. Unless you live in another small Maine town. LOL

    Ah...the old fish ladder argument.

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    1. Hope you enjoyed yours, Sheri :)

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  15. Hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day! I'm a New Englander myself originally from a small town in the Green Mountains. Gotta love those festivals :)

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    1. Oh yeah, they can be pretty fun. My favorite is the Pumpkinfest.

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  16. I've heard of alewives before, but that's the first time I've seen any. They look like they have an identity crisis and can't decide whether to be fish or snakes.

    All the little towns around the Atlanta areas have different activities for Memorial Day. Many of them line the streets with small crosses and flags, each with the name of a deceased local serviceman, his branch, which war he served in, and when he died. Boy Scout troops put flags on all the military graves. There's a small parade, fun runs, and all kinds of concerts and ceremonies, too.

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