The Can Do Crew

In December 2011 Atlantic Salmon Journal asked me to report on activities of the Downeast Salmon Federation in eastern Maine, a grassroots organization that has overseen the restoration hopes for salmon and other sea-run fish since 1982, when local anglers banded together in order to pool resources and regain some political clout, which had been lost to the bigger Penobscot River to the west.

The salmon rivers of Downeast Maine—the Narraguagus, Pleasant, Machias, East Machias, and Dennys—are some of the wildest rivers in Maine. They flow through boulder-strewn blueberry barrens and scraggy logging yards cut from mossy forests of spruce and fir.

In this article, I highlight the history of the Downeast Salmon Federation, and current initiatives including a new hatchery and resource center along with new salmon restoration techniques, land conservation activity, and education and outreach, all under the leadership of Executive Director Dwayne Shaw.

image of Narraguagus River

Photo by C. Schmitt

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