Last Friday I learned the fish way is only open Friday through Sunday from 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM. To prevent the entry of invasives (Pike, European carp and white catfish) and the requirement to count the fish entering Webber Pond, someone must be present to manage the operation. On Sunday morning I had the opportunity to observe the fish way in operation. Within a minute of opening the gate, alewives began entering the denil fishway and Webber Pond. The video captures the process including the fish counter at work! After 18,000 alewives have entered Webber Pond, the Department of Marine Resources allows the alewives to be harvested for lobster bait. As of Sunday morning nearly 70,000 alewives had entered Webber Pond so the harvesting of alewives for bait will likely be underway this week. On Friday morning, May 15th, the alewives below the closed fish way will once more have access to Webber Pond via the fish way. This cycle will repeat until the alewife run comes to an end for the season.
If you haven’t witnessed the alewife migration in person, make the effort to get out and have a look. The Webber Pond outlet and fish way is a short trip for many of you living in the central Maine. If you live in the mid-coast region, the recently restored Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder (www.damariscottamills.org) deserves a visit.