Contents: River herring and eel oral histories, Interpretive panels at Campobello, Events and more.
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Welcome to the Downeast Fisheries Trail Newsletter!
The Downeast Fisheries Trail has captured people’s interest near and far. It is a unique effort that finds common ground between fisheries and tourism, community and culture, education and experience. Inquiries about the Trail come from visitors who want to experience the real Downeast, locals who want to connect with each other through shared fisheries heritage, and organizations who are intrigued by the model. It is time to step up our communications and share the news. This newsletter provides a space a few times a year for stories, events, announcements, and initiatives about and related to the Downeast Fisheries Trail.  Enjoy and keep in touch!

Oral Histories:  River Herring and Eel

Maine Sea Grant and NOAA Fisheries are working together on an oral history project focusing on river herring (alewives and blueback herring) and American eels in Downeast Maine. Both river herring and eels are diadromous, meaning that they spend part of their lives at sea and part in freshwater. As such, they are important links between freshwater and marine ecosystems. They have been harvested by residents of Downeast Maine for centuries and are an important part of this region’s fishing heritage. The goal of this project is to highlight examples of harvesters’ knowledge and observations of river herring and eels in their local rivers and also to highlight examples of the cultural importance of these fisheries in Downeast Maine. Stay tuned for short videos and other educational materials that will be created as part of this project and posted on the Downeast Fisheries Trail website.

Going International!

Roosevelt Campobello International Park, the eastern-most site on the Downeast Fisheries Trail is the only park in North America that is administered jointly by two nations.  The Downeast Fisheries Trail and the Park are collaborating to create seven new fisheries and marine related interpretive panels for the Park, just in time for its 50th anniversary celebration, summer 2014. At the same time, the Downeast Fisheries Trail is part of a growing collaboration between the Maine Office Tourism and the New Brunswick (Canada) Department of Tourism, Heritage, and Culture. The two jurisdictions are promoting the “Two Nation Vacation,” an initiative that helps visitors connect with people and places for meaningful travel experiences on both sides of the border, such as the Downeast Fisheries Trail, the Bold Coast Scenic Byway, and the Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium
The sardine, an important part of the region’s fisheries heritage, is commemorated on the Eastport waterfront in this wonderful sculpture on the Schoodic International Sculpture Tour.
Downeast Fisheries Trail on Facebook
Downeast Fisheries Trail on Facebook
Downeast Smelt Fry 2013.

Upcoming Events

26 April. Maine and the Mortal Sea. Taking Stock of the Past, Present and Future of Our Living Sea. (Downeast Fisheries Trail presented on afternoon "Coastal Maine and the Living Sea panel) Walpole.

15-18 May. Taste of Bar Harbor.

16 May. Maine Humanities Summit:  The Humanities and Public Policy. (Downeast Fisheries Trail presented on afternoon “Cultural Tourism and the Humanities” panel) Augusta.

17 May. Benton Alewife Festival. Benton.

24 May. 2014 World Fish Migration Day. Global.

24-26. Fish Ladder Restoration Festival. Damariscotta.

See EVENTS for more!

It's almost time to take the kids to see the alewife runs! 

Adults alewives enter rivers from early May to early June and swim upstream into lakes and ponds to spawn.  See Maine Department of Marine Resources River Herring Factsheet for more information about these sea run fish.

About the Trail

The Downeast Fisheries Trail consists of 45 locations in Hancock and Washington counties, Maine, that showcase active and historic fisheries heritage sites, such as fish hatcheries, aquaculture facilities, fishing harbors, clam flats, processing plants, historical societies, community centers, and other related places. The Trail is an effort to raise awareness among residents and visitors of the importance of the region’s maritime heritage and the role of marine resources to the area’s economy. The Trail builds on these local resources to strengthen community life and the experience of visitors. For more information: