For over 30 years, DSF has been working on habitat restoration projects that repair and restore migratory fish passages.
Such impediments as dams, culverts and road crossings can completely change the outlook for fish completing their spawning process.
We lead coalitions of federal, state and community organizations that cooperate in the building of fishways, the repair of culverts and road crossings, and in dam removal or redesign.
Downeast Salmon Federation's habitat restoration projects include water quality management and improvement.
Years of acid rain, heavy timber harvest, and degradation of riparian zones have all contributed to the acidification of our waters. With our partners at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, DSF assists with placing crushed clamshells in local rivers.
DSF provides other assistance in this complex mitigation project of correcting the water pH. This includes observation of fish and macro invertebrates' development, and the monitoring of water temperature and chemistry.
With our partners at the Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT), we are working on projects related to the effects of changes in sea level on salt marshes.
MCHT has developed a plan to protect and care for the Maine’s priority marshes, two of which are in Downeast Maine. A major focus at present is protecting critical upland properties where current salt marshes can migrate, and our projects will focus on the development of tide gates.
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With partnership from the Nature Conservancy, and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, DSF has embarked on a restoration project of Beaverdam Stream. The project is just one of many that DSF is involved in, and a great representation of the coordination and community engagement that DSF provides.
The 6.4 acre section is a wooded stream buffer abutting Beaverdam Stream and is part of a larger DSF Land Trust Preserve. The stream contains approximately 100 sq. meters of juvenile Atlantic Salmon rearing habitat. Upstream there are river herring and a very productive brook trout fishery.
The overall goal of long-term management is to maintain Beaverdam Stream forever as high quality Atlantic salmon breeding and rearing habitat while maintaining traditional human use of the property.
By removing collapsed culverts and installing a new road and trails, DSF is making the property accessible to the public for hiking, walking, mountain biking (on designated trails), snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
We are the only fisheries/river/salmon related organization with boots on the ground (and in the river systems) in Hancock and Washington Counties in Maine.
We are a fisheries organization that also operates a large land trust which is atypical. We look at holistic, full system solutions to fisheries issues.
We bring resources and expertise into the region and develop programs that benefit the local workforce, youth education and university partnerships.
The term community fisheries is unique to coastal areas, and describes the ecosystem surrounding sea-run fish.
Coastal communities typically have rivers, lakes, ponds and streams that are home to many varieties of fish, some fresh water and some diadromous. Much of this population are food sources for larger fish such as halibut, and also for lobster.
In Maine, herring (and particularly Alewives) are regaining strength and some sustainably harvested species are used as bait in the iconic lobster fishery. These herring, once found in great abundance in Downeast Maine, had declined almost to the point of extinction
DSF provides the on the ground data collection and advocacy to protect and enhance historic heritage fisheries for Alewives and Rainbow smelt.