Every year the alewives run from the ocean to fresh water spawning grounds, and this year runners and walkers can help support their journey with a 5K road race on Saturday, May 28.
Registered runners will receive a custom race T-shirt, reusable shopping bag and custom alewife race bib, while supplies last. Signing up before the race helps ensure that correct shirt size is available. Register at damariscottamills.org/run-with-the-alewives.
Note that there will not be an Alewives Festival in 2022, but volunteers will be selling T-shirts and other fish ladder gear at the fish house 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends from May 7 through June 5. The fish house and ladder are located on Mills Road (Route 215) near the border between Newcastle and Nobleboro.
Funds raised directly support the Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder. Maine weather is hard on all structures, and keeping the ladder’s pools watertight and “alewife-friendly” is an on-going challenge. An additional project needed in the short-term is improving the viewing bridge over the ladder to ensure it remains safe for public access.
Race sponsors are LincolnHealth, Lincoln Medical Partners, and Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust, as well as Central Lincoln County Ambulance Service and Nobleboro’s Minnehata fire department.
More than a million alewives, a herring-family fish, call Damariscotta Lake their “home town” and every spring they swim, jump and splash up the Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder to spawn. The fish ladder, a series of 69 gradually ascending pools, has been rebuilt over the past 15 years to become a shining example of how people can aid and co-exist with the natural environment.
The DM Fish Ladder Restoration is a community-based effort in collaboration with the Towns of Nobleboro, Newcastle, and the Nobleboro Historical Society.