Center Pond Alewife Commission

Town of Phippsburg Citizen Science and Engineering to Improve Fish Passage at Center Pond




Alewives are a “species of interest” to agencies such as the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and others because their population decline along the Atlantic Coast, especially south of Maine. Anything that can be done anywhere to improve watersheds, such as Center Pond, for breeding will benefit the overall population dynamics of the species. 

The overall goal of this project was to improve alewife (river herring to include alewife and blueback herring) passage into Center Pond. Alewives were once harvested at the site, but due to concerns about the run and fishway performance, the harvest was closed. Improving passage at the fishway would improve the run and again provide a local revenue source and local source of bait for area lobstermen. Additionally, alewives are a forage fish for very important commercial species, especially cod, which have been in the limelight as a dwindling fisheries resource. They are also important food for many other predators of public interest, such as osprey, seals, eagles, cormorants, etc.