Each fall, Downeast Salmon Federation begins their fin clipping effort to mark over 200,000 juvenile Atlantic salmon with an adipose fin clip and relies on volunteers to help. This takes place at the Peter Gray Hatchery at 13 Willow St. in East Machias and is part of DSF’s on-going project to restore the Atlantic salmon population in the East Machias River. Fin clipping typically continues for three weeks after the start date.
All juvenile salmon grown at the hatchery are marked with a fin clip prior to stocking to identify them as DSF origin fish during follow up electrofishing and smolt trapping surveys. Electrofishing surveys allow biologists to get an idea of the survival rate of the fish stocked into the East Machias River from the Peter Gray Hatchery and to check in on these young salmon while they are still in fresh water. Spring smolt trapping surveys allow biologists to determine the size of the population of salmon leaving the East Machias River on their way to the ocean as smolt, and because fish stocked from DSF are marked, the number of smolt leaving the river that came from the Downeast Salmon Federation’s hatchery can be estimated.
If you’d like to volunteer and help Downeast Salmon Federation with this important part of the project, please contact Zach at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 207-255-0676.