Members of the Alewife Harvesters of Maine from across Maine and New Hampshire traveled to Dresden for the organization’s annual pig roast on Saturday, Aug. 27.
Founded in 2007, the Alewife Harvesters of Maine is comprised of fishermen, conservationists, biologists, environmental advocates, and other concerned residents focused on conserving alewives and preserving the river-fishing heritage of Maine.
“Just the amount of knowledge we have here is incredible,” said state Rep. Jeff Pierce, R-Dresden, who is the founder and executive director of the Alewife Harvesters of Maine. “These are all people who have worked on Maine conservation and fisheries for so long and have tremendous knowledge of our rivers.”
Pierce hosted the pig roast, which is now in its ninth year, at the alewife run in Mill Brook in Dresden, next to his home.
Since its formation, Alewife Harvesters of Maine has worked to represent harvesters and municipal runs at meetings of various commissions and councils, including the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the New England Fishery Management Council, and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
The group has also worked with the Maine Legislature. In 2013, the group worked with Maine legislators in support of a bill that opened the St. Croix River to alewives after 18 years.
The organization also works with harvesters and municipalities to maintain and improve harvest plans and operations on existing alewife runs and supports the maintenance and opening of historic and new runs. In 2011, the Alewife Harvesters of Maine worked with the Maine Department of Marine Resources and other organizations to help restore an alewife run and fishery on North Haven.
A major factor of the success of the Alewife Harvesters of Maine is the partnership between the harvesters, the scientists, and the management of the alewife runs, Pierce said.
“We’ve worked hard for these partnerships, and it’s been great for the state of Maine and our rivers,” Pierce said.
For more information about the Alewife Harvesters of Maine, visit the group’s Facebook page.