Fish counters needed at Nequasset Fish Ladder through June

Wed, 05/06/2015 - 2:45pm

Watching fish struggle and succeed in their climb to Nequasset Lake by way of the Nequasset Fish Ladder is an exciting and triumphant experience.

Join the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT) for the 4th annual fish count during this year’s alewife run. Fish counters of every age are needed to volunteer for a 2-hour slot and count fish for any two 10-minute periods in their slot. The count runs from now through early June. To sign up, visit

Counting alewives at the Nequasset Fish Ladder is a fantastic way to take part in one of the world's great migrations and to help an important and historic fishery. Alewives, like salmon, travel from the ocean to return to the same lakes, ponds, and streams they were born in when it is their turn to reproduce. In order to aid the alewives to complete the journey, the town of Woolwich, the Bath Water District, Woolwich Fish Commission, and KELT partnered to champion the revamping of the older, decaying ladder with a new and improved fish ladder last fall.

Alewives have been harvested in Woolwich for centuries and are an important part of the town’s culture and economy. The town of Woolwich is one of only 19 municipalities in Maine with an active harvest, and the fishery is considered to be one of the best in the state for its size and sustainable management.

Fish counters make it possible to determine the number of fish that enter Nequasset Lake to spawn each year and will help to assess the impact of the new ladder on the alewife population at Nequasset Lake. Recording the annual population fluctuations ensures that the run at Nequasset will be sustained for many years to come.

Fish counting questions can be directed to Ruth Indrick at or 207-442-8400.