Saco Salmon Restoration Alliance & Hatchery

P.O. Box 115, Saco, ME 04072

www.sacosalmon.com

 

We are a publicly funded all-volunteer non-profit organization. Despite the obstacles of COVID-19, our volunteers have continued to contribute between 2000 and 3000 hours yearly to keep our salmon hatchery in operation.

 

News 2022

January 2022

 

In December, we received a $10,776 grant from the Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s Outdoor fund to specifically upgrade hatchery equipment. This has enabled us to fund the new water quality lab test equipment, upgrade the security system to a more user-friendly system, and fund other equipment that needed upgrading or replacing.

 

The total hatchery volunteer hours for 2021 was 2,852.38. Thank you to all who participated in our organization’s activities!

Staff and students at the UNE MSC spawned salmon on January 4th and again on January 18, 2022. Green eggs were transferred to our hatchery for incubation.

The Fish Friends program will be active this year and we have twenty-three area schools participating which is about twelve more schools than last year. Pam Aslinger will be managing the program with the help of Dorothy Marecaux and David Adams. We are hoping to give hatchery tours to the students this Spring, but this has not been confirmed.

We will have three interns volunteering from UNE this semester and each student will be required to complete 120 hours devoted to the hatchery. They all will receive three UNE credits for their volunteer work. We will also have a couple of UNE citizenship volunteers required to volunteer for 15 hours each.

 

February 2022

 

The last spawning took place at the UNE MSC February 13th, but this did not produce any eggs.

 

On February 26th, John Blunt took a crew to the field and planted 1800 wild Atlantic salmon eggs from the first spawning in Swan Pond Creek with the Redd-O-Matics

 

The electricity “standard offer” for businesses has increased over 77% since the beginning of January 2022. For example, last February we used 11,745 KW of electricity for 31 days of billing and the cost was $1408.08. February 2022, we used 8399 KW of electricity for 32 days and the cost was $2308.29. Despite our continuous pursuit to lower our energy usage, the cost of electricity has gone up.

 

March 2022

 

On March 2nd, to save electricity, we moved the remaining eggs from the incubator trays to an aquarium. We shut down one pump and two chillers. We also added a programmable thermostat to the baseboard heaters in the conference room and the lab.

 

The eggs remaining in the aquarium will not be enough to supply the Fish Friends schools with wild Atlantic salmon eggs. Eggs for the Fish Friends program will be supplied by Green Lake Fish hatchery. One hundred eyed-up eggs will be distributed on March 8th to each of the twenty-three area schools on our Fish Friends program this year.

April 2022

109 salmon broodstock were transferred from the hatchery to the UNE MSC on April 1st with thanks to the eight volunteers who helped with the project. The UNE MSC is currently caring for 185 of our broodstock.

 

The salmon remaining in the hatchery are as follows; Tank four now has 203 broodstock. Sixteen three-year-old salmon are in tank seven and thirty-eight two-year-old E-fished parr are now in tanks six. Tank five is empty & cleaned.

 

May 2022

 

Our three UNE Interns, Nick Esposito, Elle Harris, and Giovanni Aulizio have finished with their volunteer help at the hatchery and are preparing for final exams. Nick Esposito, our Senior Intern, gave a talk at a symposium at UNE on May 6th regarding our hatchery and its work with salmon. He included a poster and displayed a Redd-O-Matic and its use for planting eggs in the streams. Thank you, Nick!

 

We will be looking for extra help to keep the hatchery in operation from now through the middle of September.

 

NOTE:  We are requesting that anyone who catches a wild Atlantic salmon, please report the following information to Garry Kasten by email to gkasten42@gmail.com. Please let me know the person who caught it, the date, size of the fish and location where you caught the fish. Thank you!

Fish Kill Report – West side of Cataract Falls - May 31, 2022

I received a call from Destiny L. while I was at the salmon hatchery on May 31st, about a fish kill on the West side of Cataract Falls in Biddeford, Maine. I personally inspected the site at high tide on June 1st and observed a small flow of water at the falls which was not enough to support passage of any fish upstream. According to a local angler who witnessed the event May 30th, this left hundreds of Alewife, at least one sea run bass, at least two wild Atlantic Salmon and an undermined number of striped bass suddenly stranded on the rocks to die as the tide went out. The water was so low that anglers were walking along the rocks on the Biddeford side of the channel collecting lures. I suggested that this issue was caused by the inflatable bladder on the West channel of Cataract falls. This was not correct. This may have been caused by resetting the gate control which resulted in a decreased flow of water over the West side of Cataract falls.

June 2022

Note:  Another gate adjustment was made sometime after June 1st which increased the water flowing over the West channel of Cataract Falls and it now is flowing normally.

Thank you all for your generous support.