Alewives Running
  Yesterday [May 12, 2005] the alewives started running at Damariscotta Mills. The locals say they made a try for it on Mothers' Day, but it was too cold, and the flow over the falls too great. Yesterday they came back in force. When I got there around 4PM there was a solid stream of them pouring in from the Great Salt Bay and crowding into the fishway. Fishing for alewives at the Damariscotta Mills works was shut down in the 90s because the fish were so scarce. Now they are rebounding like Magic Johnson. The excitement in that narrow chute is palpable. Thousands of fish streaming together, inching against the turbulence in the serpentine fishway, pooling up in the stone ponds. Only a handful had made it up to the top of the way by 6PM, but the fish kept coming in from the salt. A big speckled seal was gorging in the migration, torpedoing under the road bridge into the swarms at the foot of the falls, wheeling around annd raising a pressure wave in the shallows as he swept out with the flow. Peggy and I went back after Carlo's opening (a fabulous show at Gallery 170 in Damariscotta), and we counted 11 osprey stacked up above the pool below the falls. An immature eagle came in for a feed, and the gulls were walking along beside the fishway, snatching fish. The two-leggeds were all goggle-eyed, hugging each other and babbling with strangers. It really is Spring. Thank heaven.