Peter Gray Hatchery Update  
Hatchery Update

As June comes to a close our fish continue to grow inside their black rearing tanks. As seen in the picture above, they have vertical bars along the length of their bodies. These vertical bars provide much needed camouflage for juvenile salmon in streams and rivers.

We have been busy caring for our little athletes in the Peter Gray Hatchery this past month. Daily feedings and cleanings along with many positive thoughts thrown in the direction of our salmon. Good ol' Willie Nelson put it this way: " Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results."

Hatchery activities have also included maintenance and preparations for next year on our substrate incubation boxes . This includes sanding them down then re-varnishing, thank you to Maine DMR - a Peter Gray Parr Project partner - for your help with this task. Once dry, the boxes are ready to rock for next year's rearing season!


Do you have a pickup truck you don't need? Are you looking for a tax deduction in 2018? Consider donating your truck to the Downeast Salmon Federation for use in all of our salmon and salmon habitat restoration projects. A short list of requirements are as follows:
  • Able to pass inspection in the state of Maine
  • Four wheel drive
  • In good mechanical working order
We would like to avoid a truck that needs thousands of dollars to get it into operating order, so please only think about this generous act if your truck is in good shape. Thank you for your consideration.

Smolt Trapping 2018

Well my friends, smolt trapping for the 2018 season officially ended in June. Trapping operations were stopped on June 8th after five consecutive days of capturing zero salmon. Please check out our capture numbers below.

Hatchery Origin Smolts (these are salmon smolts that have been stocked from the Peter Gray Hatchery !): 179

Naturally Reared Smolts (these are salmon smolts that have come from limited natural spawning and limited fry stocking): 18

Recaps (salmon smolts that were captured once in the smolt traps, taken a kilometer upriver, released and captured again. These smolts determine the capture efficiency of the smolt traps): 41

Parr (salmon that were stocked from the Peter Gray Hatchery last fall in the section of the river the smolt traps operate): 50

The total smolt capture for 2018 was 197 Atlantic salmon . This 197 smolt captured is the second highest number of fish captured during the six years of smolt trapping on the East Machias River. Smolt trapping is an important part of how we help to prove the success of the Peter Gray Parr Project . Taking into account the two consecutive droughts these fish had to endure, that total capture number of smolts should be encouraging.

A preliminary population estimate for the entire river should be on its way soon. Trap captures can be found HERE online along with more details on the smolt trapping operation.
$60k Peter Gray Parr Project
Matching Gift Challenge

DSF friend and supporter, Charlie Harriman (out smolt trapping with DSF in the photo above), has made a $60k Matching Gift Challenge for the Peter Gray Parr Project ! This means that all donations to the Project will be matched 1:1 up until we meet that $60,000 challenge. We hope that you will join Charlie in his enthusiastic efforts to help restore Atlantic salmon from the brink of extinction in Maine and get your donation doubled by giving to the Peter Gray Parr Project today!

If you believe in the importance of restoring Atlantic salmon to our U.S. rivers, then please consider making a Matching Challenge Gift to the Peter Gray Parr Project. We will be continuing our work to restore salmon to Downeast Maine and would appreciate your help! Click  HERE to donate and contact DSF Membership & Development Coordinator, Heather Andrews , with any questions about making a gift. Thank you for your support!
You can also support us by purchasing some DSF swag! Hats, vests, and shirts can be found HERE . Thank you to all that purchased Peter Gray Parr Project t-shirts and sweatshirts! A family picture of Peter Gray Parr Project supporters can be seen to your left! If you would like one of your own please email . Other ways to help are to become a member!

As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to reach out to me at I 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,

Zach Sheller 
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.
Wild Atlantic salmon numbers in the U.S. have been at a record low, but DSF is working to bring them back. Please support our work by becoming a member  of the Downeast Salmon Federation. Together, we can restore sea-run fisheries in Maine.