Peter Gray Hatchery Update  
A beautiful thing happens each year by the end of October (typically). All the tanks in the Peter Gray Hatchery are empty. You may think to yourself, "How is this a good thing?" Although a viable question, the answer is that empty tanks mean all of the "little athletes" (fall parr) that have been in the hatchery since January are now stocked in the river! This year right around 120,000 parr were stocked at 14 different sites throughout the East Machias watershed.

But before we could get to the point of stocking beautiful Atlantic salmon we had to mark each and every one. This refers to our annual fin clipping where we clip the adipose fin off each salmon in our hatchery. This allows us to identify salmon from the Peter Gray Hatchery when we are doing future field assessments. Those assessments would include smolt trapping in the spring and electrofishing in late summer. Since the adipose fin doesn't grow back, if we capture a salmon without one, we know for a fact it came from the Peter Gray Hatchery . Hence how we can tell you wonderful news like juvenile salmon in the river at densities not seen since the 1980's and quadruple the number of smolt headed to sea compared to what left the river before the Peter Gray Parr Project started.

Of course fin clipping couldn't be accomplished without the help of hundreds of volunteers, 221 this year to be exact. Those volunteers put in over 357 hours of work. I'd like to list out the schools that helped this year: multiple classes from Washington Academy, multiple classes from Elm Street Elementary, multiple classes from Rose M Gaffney, multiple classes from the University of Maine at Machias, Alexander Elementary, George Stevens Academy, Machias Memorial High School, Shead High school, the JMG program from Rose M Gaffney. On top of the help from area students we also received help from DSF staff, NOAA staff, DMR staff, DSF board members, DSF members, and a few volunteers from the community. Thank you to all that help to accomplish this very important task.

Stocking as always is one of our favorite times of the year. The air is crisp, the leaves are colorful, and we are filling our beautiful salmon river with genetically distinct and endangered salmon parr. The goal is to have these fish live for another year or two in the river before migrating to sea as a smolt . This is end of our hatchery cycle with this year's fish, but the start of their journey in the wild. The hope is in four years time we will be seeing them come back to the East Machias River and spawn. Once again thank you to the US Fish and Wildlife team over at Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery for lending us the stocking trucks.

We had some news coverage the one day we were out stocking with a couple local schools. https://www.foxbangor.com/news/item/45315-salmon-stocking-to-bring-back-atlantic-salmon
The cool thing is this stocking took place at the habitat restoration site on Beaverdam Stream we highlighted in last month's update. So, not only did these students help stock some endangered salmon in a newly restored piece of habitat, the younger group of students helped plant some trees that will aid in restoration for years to come! We enjoyed the help of Washington Academy, University of Maine at Machias, and Wesley Elementary with stocking our salmon this year.

Alright I'll stop blathering away and let you just check out the pictures of this Peter Gray Hatchery Update .

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 you like the work we are doing, please considering donating towards the continuation of the Peter Gray Parr Project .
$60k Peter Gray Parr Project
Matching Gift Challenge - Almost $20k raised to match so far!

DSF friend and supporter, Charlie Harriman (out smolt trapping with Rachel 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. Double your donation amount and 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! So far about $20,000 has been raised towards this matching gift. Thank you to all that have given.

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. Thank you for your support!
Merchandise

You can also support us by purchasing some DSF swag! Hats, vests, and shirts can be found HERE . 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 zach@mainesalmonrivers.org. 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,

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 !
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.