Earlier today, we posted a story about the tremendous success story taking place on some tributaries of the Penobscot River: Alewives are streaming by the thousands into Blackman Stream in Bradley after restoration and stocking efforts that began five years ago.
This “Our Maine Heritage” photo shows that in some tributaries in the lower river, folks were paying close attention to alewives nearly 30 years ago.
In the photo, a “fishing agent” boxes up alewives as part of a commercial harvest. The fish are still used as lobster bait, and in a few years, a commercial fishery will likely exist in Bradley, thanks to the restoration effort.
So why are we making such a big deal about fish in Bradley if they were already in Hampden 30 years ago? The answer seems simple: There were no dams on the river below Souadabscook Stream, and alewives (along with other sea-run fish) were allowed to swim freely to their natal ponds.
Just like the fish in Bradley can do now.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t call attention to the photo credit: This shot was taken by Bob DeLong, a photographer who worked here at the BDN for 34 years.
DeLong retired in 2002, and died after a short illness in 2008. In 2010, he was elected to the Maine Press Association Hall of Fame.
He was also one of the nicest, most helpful men I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with at this paper … and I’ll bet that any of my colleagues who were lucky enough to work with him would echo my sentiments.