About Downeast Salmon Federation


Downeast Salmon Federation’s mission is to conserve wild Atlantic salmon, other sea-run fish and their habitats, restore a viable recreational salmon fishery, and protect other important river, scenic, recreational, and ecological resources in eastern Maine.


Unprecedented attention, collaboration, and resources are converging to make the return of the iconic wild Atlantic salmon to the rivers of eastern Maine a reality. Inseparable is an ecosystem approach in which people nurture and benefit from a full suite of sea-run fisheries: alewife, smelt, brook trout, the American eel, tomcod, and salmon – all abundant, all possible in a future within reach.

Downeast Salmon Federation serves as a hub, leader and catalyst engaging local communities with an array of partners and allies on three fronts: Replenishing Stocks, Protecting and Restoring Habitat, and Strengthening Stewardship. The approach is river-centric, focusing intensely on the watersheds of each of the five major Downeast rivers with endangered salmon populations: the Dennys, East Machias, Machias, Pleasant, and Narraguagus. Simultaneously, initiatives supporting multi-species recovery radiate outward to encompass the Orange, West Branch Pleasant and Middle, with additional high-value projects ranging across estuaries and dozens of small coastal rivers and streams.

Just as a healthy salmon population cannot be separated from its habitat, the mission of the Downeast Salmon Federation is vitally inter-connected with the natural and human ecology of its region. Waterways link to land and its forests, farms, and communities. These wild river corridors, unparalleled in the eastern U.S., support environmental education, paddling and other recreational activities, multi-generational guiding and commercial fishing livelihoods. Stretching from the riverbanks, sustainable forestry, farming, and blueberry lands stand with fishing in local importance, and all serve markets far beyond. Conserving the wild Atlantic salmon and its habitat is linked to heritage and future – to the whole of a restored and vital future in eastern Maine.