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People have been living, working and fishing in and around the waters of Downeast Maine for centuries.  Today we are proud to help caretake that legacy.

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Executive Director


Dwayne Shaw is Executive Director of the Downeast Salmon Federation, where he has led the development of the Federation’s fisheries and land conservation programs since 1989, beginning with the removal of the Pleasant River dam and the renovation of the facility as a hatchery and fisheries research center in Columbia Falls.


In 2000 he led the removal of the East Machias River dam and received the National Coastal America Partnership Award from President George W. Bush. The East Machias site is now home to DSF’s Peter Gray Hatchery for the restoration of Atlantic salmon.

Dwayne was also one of three recipients of the prestigious Gulf of Maine Visionary awards in 2016.  The Visionary Award recognizes the recipient’s commitment to protect, enhance, and restore the ecosystem of the Gulf of Maine region and to safeguard and improve the well-being of the communities that depend on its resources.

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Fisheries Biologist


Michael Manning is DSF’s newest fisheries biologist. By combining experience from an earlier career in the fire service & emergency management with an education in fisheries science, he brings a mitigation-focused approach to environmental issues. 

He has undergraduate degrees in emergency management (University of Richmond) and fisheries & wildlife science (Oregon State University), as well as an MS in Fisheries Science from OSU. He also has experience working for the US Forest Service as a Biological Field Technician (Aquatics) and as a Naturalist Intern at Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve in Virginia.

Michael and his wife Kathy are New England natives and happy to be back in the region they consider home.


Habitat Restoration Manager

Kirstin Underwood

Kirstin Underwood is the habitat restoration project manager at DSF. Kirstin has over a decade of experience working with communities to develop environmental projects across Maine, on the west coast, and in rural southeast Tanzania.


She especially enjoyed studying salmonids on the Klamath River and monitoring salt marsh habitat and waterfowl populations at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge.

Most recently, Kirstin worked as a biologist with the US Fish & Wildlife Service to restore fish passage and aquatic connectivity at multiple sites across the state of Maine. Kirstin has roots in Downeast Maine and is very excited to return to the region where she grew up to restore important habitats for people, fish and wildlife.

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Conservation Technician


Mike is an alumnus from Coastal Carolina University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science.  After graduating, he has worked as a federal fisheries observer in South Carolina, Alaska, and Maine, and was a fisheries resource manager for National Marine Fisheries Service – Alaska Region. 

Most recently, Mike worked as a fisheries biologist for Nome Eskimo Community, a federally recognized Tribe, where he operated water quality, wildlife, and fisheries projects.  He co-founded and served as President on the Bering Straits regional watershed alliance and collaborated on a Tribal Climate Change Adaptation Plan.

He enjoys fishing, boating and outdoor activities, and has a strong commitment to habitat conservation and restoration.  His work at DSF includes monitoring conservation properties, and making improvements to trails, public access, and educational outreach.

Mike lives in Jonesboro with his wife, Marsha.


Memberships, Communication and Development Assistant


Haley graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a degree in Biology. In Colorado, she studied in the ecology and environmental biology department, researching the genetics of the jawless fish, sea lamprey, and working as a science educator.


Following her graduation, she received a Fulbright grant to research fresh water decontamination in Southern Spain. Upon returning to the US, Haley worked as a strategy and marketing consultant for small businesses. 


She enjoys her role at the DSF, combining her interests in science, communication, and mission-driven work to do good for scenic Downeast Maine.

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Associate Director


Charlie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he graduated with a degree in marine biology. While a student there, he studied the diets of early juvenile red drum in the New River estuary.

After college, he earned a master’s degree in marine science from the University of Texas at Austin.

He has over a decade of professional experience in environmental science and project management. During his career, he has worked on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts as an ecologist and environmental educator.


Land Trust Coordinator


Sara Williams joins the Downeast Salmon Federation as the Land Trust Coordinator after working for the US Fish and Wildlife Service for 25 years. After graduating from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s in wildlife science, her career as a wildlife biologist took her to coastal National Wildlife Refuges in Virginia, Connecticut, and Maine where
she specialized in colonial nesting bird management and seabird research. She brings a wealth of experience managing and monitoring habitats, including non-native invasive plants.

Sara has lived Downeast for 15 years and is proud to call Cherryfield home. She enjoys nearly all outdoor activities and looks forward to fostering a connection between the beautiful DSF lands and local communities.


Hatchery Manager


Mitch earned his Bachelor of Technology in Fisheries and Aquaculture from the State University of New York at Cobleskill in 2017. During his time at SUNY Cobleskill, he learned the techniques required to rear various trout species.

In the winter of 2016, he got to work with the fish and wildlife found in the Peruvian Amazon. After graduating Mitch worked for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, rearing Chinook salmon for 2 years.


During his time with the IDFG, he helped stock over 3 million Chinook salmon into the South Fork of the Salmon River.

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Michelle joined the DSF team in January 2016 and has over 25 years of bookkeeping experience.


She has a B.S. in Business Administration with concentrations in Accounting & Management from the University of Maine at Machias. 


She resides in Addison along the Pleasant River.

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Assistant Hatchery Manager


Alex earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife with a concentration in fisheries from Paul Smiths College in 2019. Alex worked with Project Share during the 2019 field season right here in Downeast Maine.


There he assisted in salmon habitat rehabilitation along the Narraguagus River, to increasing spawning habitat for Atlantic salmon. He also assisted Ernie Atkinson, Marine Scientist II at the DMR Jonesboro office with electrofishing assessments of an egg planting habitat quality project. 


Hatchery Technician


Julie graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2021 with a Bachelor's Degree in Zoology. She grew up spending winter breaks snowmobiling and fishing in Downeast Maine and jumped on an opportunity to move to the area after graduating.


Julie worked for DSF as a part-time hatchery technician during the 2021 season and enjoyed getting to know the area better and learning how to raise healthy Atlantic salmon. She is returning this year as a full-time hatchery technician and looks forward to becoming more involved in DSF.