Above are the Peter Gray Parr Project's 2019 Hatchery Technicians, Ryan and Victoria. Welcome to the team!
Peter Gray Hatchery Update  
Hello my fellow fin-flipping, salmon loving friends. I write to you today looking out at the sunny, yet still cool, sky. But as comedian Steve Martin says, " A day without sunshine is like, you know, night."

Spring has been slow in coming, with nights still dropping below freezing here in Washington county. River temperatures are right around the 8 Celsius (46 Fahrenheit) mark and I'll try to remember these nice, cool temperatures as we move into the heat of the summer.

With the coming spring, we have started our 2019 smolt trapping season and welcomed two new hires to help us this rearing season. Victoria and Ryan started this week and we are looking forward to a productive and successful 2019 season for the Peter Gray Parr Project. I'm sure you'll run into them this summer if you come in to check out the fish and facility.

Smolt trapping is an exciting time of year where we partner with the Jonesboro office of the Maine Department of Marine Resources to assess the condition of, and estimate the number of smolts headed to sea. Smolts are juvenile salmon that have lived in river for a couple years and are making the transition to live in salt water. They will spend a couple years in the ocean before returning as adults to spawn.

In the smolt traps we catch a wide array of fish species. Everything from the migratory American eel to the invasive resident large/small mouth bass and of course Atlantic salmon. Since every salmon that is stocked from the Peter Gray Hatchery has an adipose clip, we can distinguish between fish that came from our hatchery and wild (naturally-reared) fish. Wild fish are the result of limited fry stocking and natural reproduction that occurs in the river. Since we are now in our eighth year of the Peter Gray Parr Project, the observed spawning is the result of parr we stocked years ago. Recaptures are smolts that we have caught, marked, moved upstream, and captured again. This mark-recapture study gives us the capture efficiency of the smolt traps. This is an important metric in determining this year's population estimate.

The next few hatchery updates will have a smolt trap update and we update catch data almost daily on our website here: smolt trap count.

2019 Smolt Trapping

New smolt captures: 4

Peter Gray Hatchery Origin: 3
Wild (or naturally reared) Origin: 1
Recaptures: 0

In salmon restoration it can sometimes feel like it takes forever to see the results of our efforts. For example it takes anywhere from 8-32 months after we put a parr in the river to see them headed to sea and another couple years to get them back as adults. It is important to remind ourselves that every effort is making a difference and the East Machias River is a much better salmon river than it was just eight years ago. Abraham Lincoln, a man many of you may have heard about, said it this way: " I am a slow walker, but I never walk back."

Thank you for taking the time to read through our updates. If you are new to receiving these updates and would like to catch up on some you have missed, please visit our website here . Also, if there are any of your friends you think would enjoy this content please share with them or let us know their email address to add to the list!

If you like the work we are doing, please considering donating towards the continuation of the Peter Gray Parr Project . Thank you!

Do you have a reliable pickup truck sitting around? Are you a fan of the Peter Gray Parr Project and the work we do? Would you like a tax deduction for the value of that pickup in 2019? Please consider donating that pickup to the Downeast Salmon Federation for use in the wide variety of field work we do throughout the year. Currently, the Downeast Salmon Federation doesn't have a pickup truck to accomplish all of the very important, boots-on-ground projects that are taken on each year. These tasks would include stocking salmon, habitat restoration, redd counts, land stewardship along rivers, among many others. If this is something you are interested please contact zach@mainesalmonrivers.org. *Picture below for attention*
$30,000 Charlie Harriman Peter Gray Parr Project Matching Gift Challenge
We are almost half-way to our goal for the 2019 Peter Gray Parr Project Matching Gift Challenge!

Long-time DSF friend and supporter, Charlie Harriman, has followed up his very generous and successful 2018 challenge with another challenge: every donation to the Peter Gray Parr Project will be matched 50% - Your $100 gift becomes a $150 donation to the Peter Gray Parr Project!

To date, our member contributions to the 2019 Matching Gift Challenge have totaled almost $30,000. Generous members and supporters like Charlie are leaving their mark on the future of Atlantic Salmon in Downeast Maine! You can leave your mark, too!

Thank you, Charlie, for your steadfast commitment to the Peter Gray Parr Project!
You can also support the Downeast Salmon Federation by purchasing some swag! Hats, sweatshirts, and t-shirts can be found HERE . Other ways to help are to become a member !

We hope this update finds you well and you enjoyed reading about the Peter Gray Parr Project . Thank you for all you have done, and continue to do, in the pursuit of Atlantic salmon restoration!

Kind Regards,

Peter Gray Hatchery Staff 
If you'd like to read more on the Peter Gray Parr Project 's beginnings and future please read our  Parr Project Booklet

There is a short Parr Project video on our website  HERE.
Thank you to the Trout and Salmon Foundation for your continued support of the Peter Gray Parr Project !
Please support our work by becoming a member  of the Downeast Salmon Federation. Together, we can restore sea-run fisheries in Maine.