Anadromous fishes

Anadromous fishes of MDI and Frenchman Bay. Along with several COA faculty members and individuals from several non-profits and government agencies, I have been interested in the current status of anadromous fishes in our region of Maine, how we might be able to restore or enhance fish runs on local streams, and the history of both the fish and other marine populations and the history of the exploitation and management of these fisheries by local communities.  Although the focus of this work is on anadromous fishes, several researchers are also interested in how these fishes have interacted with the groundfish and marine invertebrate populations in Frenchman’s Bay.

A lot of this work happens through two organizations, the Somes-Meynell Sanctuary, where I am a Board Member and Frenchman Bay Partners, where I am currently Vice-President.

Anadromous fishes of MDI and Frenchman Bay

Alewives – Alosa pseudoharengus

There is a lot of very strong and positive work being done around several species of anadromous fishes in Maine. My work has been mostly organized around local alewife restoration efforts, both in Somesville on MDI and in Flanders Stream in Sullivan. The work at Somesville on the Long Pond/Somes Pond watershed and Somes Brook has been headed by the Somes-Meynell Sanctuary and its director David Lamon (a COA graduate).

Claire Enterline at the Maine Department of Marine Resources has been overseeing data collection and management of river herring runs in the state for several years. Part of that work involves producing updates on the state of the species, and on specific runs of fish. Here are links to some of the most recent reports for the local runs:

Town of Mount Desert – 2014 MDI Mill and Long Report

Flanders 2014 Volunteer Count Report

The work on Flanders Stream has been spearheaded by Gary Edwards and the Town of Sullivan. I’ve written up a short summary of the work for Frenchman Bay Partners that I’ll link here once its up.

Finally, if you want to see the most recent sustainable fisheries plan for alewives for the state of Maine, it is linked at the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) website here.

Rainbow Smelt – Osmerus mordax

Mount Desert Island has a tradition of strong runs of rainbow smelt in spring along its many small streams. These runs, like many of the runs to the south, appear to be on the decline. Over the spring of 2014, Bruce Connery of Acadia National Park and I monitored several streams around MDI to assess the current status of several smelt runs. Greg Burr of Maine Inland Fish and Wildlife also was kind enough to let us borrow a large fyke net, which we put at the head of Somes Sound near the entrance to Babson Creek to assess movement of anadromous fish there. This work was done in collaboration with our friends at Maine Coast Heritage Trust, with the help of Billy Helprin.   That report should be posted sometime in December 2014 or January 2015. The take-home message is not good news, however, we found very little evidence of smelt activity in our streams.

First uploaded November 4, 2014 – pictures to be added soon!