A May sunset over the East Machias River.
Peter Gray Hatchery Update  
Good day to all those that support the Peter Gray Parr Project in one way or another and welcome to the May Peter Gray Hatchery update. May is busssssssssssyyyyyyyy. There is smolt trapping, fry emerging from substrate incubation boxes, moving fish into the hatchery expansion for the first time, tearing down substrate incubation boxes, taking care of the Pleasant River Hatchery, stocking of fry, etc, etc! That being said the Italian poet Torquato Tasso put it this way, " The day of fortune is like a harvest day, We must be busy when the corn is ripe." May in the Atlantic salmon conservation hatchery world is a month the corn is ripe!

It has been a damp, cool spring which has kept river temperatures a bit lower then usual and some migrations of sea run fish delayed a week or two. We haven't minded the cooler river temps and plenty of water in the river as that is good for the salmon in the Peter Gray Hatchery as well as the salmon already out in the rivers. As of this morning, June 4th, the river is running around 14 Celsius (57 Fahrenheit)...this time of year it could just as easily be approaching 20 Celsius (68 Fahrenheit).

In great news we now have hundreds of thousands of salmon fry inhabiting the tanks of the Peter Gray Hatchery expansion. This has been years in the making and we'd like to thank all those that have helped this vision come to a reality! There are a few pictures of the expansion included in this report. Currently, we have over 300,000 salmon that are on their way to becoming "little athletes".

2019 Smolt Trapping

New smolt captures: 193

Peter Gray Hatchery Origin: 176
Wild (or naturally reared) Origin: 17
Recaptures: 38

As we discussed in the last hatchery update we have our 2019 smolt trapping season under way. For more information on smolt trapping please read that hatchery update here or check out our website. We are continuing to catch smolts headed to the Atlantic Ocean. With 8 new smolts today our total is 193 new captures so far this year. Hopefully we continue to capture smolts for another week or so.

To give a little perspective, last season we captured 197 smolts (the second highest amount for the Peter Gray Parr Project) and the estimated number of smolt leaving the system was around 1200 smolts (including production below the trap). Those results and a graph showing them can be seen here.

Pleasant River Hatchery

With the help of some cub scouts, pod casters, and Maine DMR we recently stocked out over 100,000 fry from our Pleasant River Hatchery. Thank you to all that lent a hand and the landowners for access to the river. Check out the photos included in this update to see some of the places we stocked. We don't yet have the resources to raise parr at the Pleasant River Hatchery, but we do utilize certain aspects of the Peter Gray method to include using unfiltered river water in the hatchery and substrate incubation boxes to rear the alevin. The Downeast Salmon Federation has been raising Atlantic salmon at our Columbia Fall's facility since the early 1990s.

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.