Peter Gray Hatchery Update  
Hatchery Update

High water temperatures, low amounts of rainfall, and low water levels. Unfortunately, these environmental conditions have been our norm in Downeast Maine for the past 3 summers. There is no denying that it has been less than ideal conditions for Atlantic salmon. As Mark Twain said: " Denial ain't just a river in Egypt." But fear not, because t he parr stocked from the Peter Gray Hatchery keep driving the population of Atlantic salmon in the East Machias River.

As seen in the smolt population graph, the preliminary estimate of number of smolts for the 2018 season was 1168 smolts with another 100 - 150 smolt below the trapping site . This total estimate of ~1300 smolts is a little lower than the ~1700 from 2017, but considering the two years of severe drought the smolts had to endure the number could have been much lower.

Later today we are having our biannual Peter Gray Parr Project meeting with project partners including other NGO's, state, and federal agencies. We will share more specific details on our smolt population and what we learned from this year's trapping efforts in next month's update . Perhaps we will also draw some comparisons to smolt populations on other Downeast rivers.

In July, we also enjoyed a work day with the Atlantic Salmon Conservation School Network where we did a large wood assessment on a section of Beaverdam Stream, checked out the restored Pokey Dam fishway, and facilitated a tour of the Peter Gray Hatchery with background information on the Peter Gray Parr Project .

In their words: " There it is...students from Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada fishing with our friends from East Machias, Maine, United States. A goal of our network is to make moments like this happen. Next year, both of these groups will co-host youth from Scotland, Germany and France in this picture along the banks of the Mighty Miramichi and East Machias to celebrate 2019 - the Year of the Salmon! These youth are the future stewards of our watersheds...through their actions, we hope to see our majestic Atlantic Salmon populations recovery on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean."

If you are new to receiving these updates and would like to catch up on some you have missed, please visit our website here .

$60k Peter Gray Parr Project
Matching Gift Challenge - $15k raised to match so far!

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! So far about $15,000 has been raised because of this matching gift. Thank you to all.

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!


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.

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,

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.