AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul R. LePage has designated $25,000 from his contingency funds for the Downeast Salmon Federation to support operations and construction at the East Machias Aquatic Research Center. Located in Columbia Falls, the Downeast Salmon Federation focuses on conserving the remaining U.S. wild Atlantic salmon populations in Maine and works to reinstate a healthy fishery.
“I commend the results of the cooperation between the Downeast Salmon Federation, the North Atlantic Salmon Fund and the Atlantic Salmon Federation,” said Gov. LePage in a press release. “Thank you for all you are doing to restore Maine’s salmon population through hatcheries, education opportunities and more.”
The Downeast Salmon Federation just completed renovating the East Machias Aquatic Research Center, which includes a hatchery and a visitor center. Upon another construction phase, the facility will be able to host a classroom and water quality lab. The research center is located within a few miles of the University of Maine at Machias, positioned as a prime location for laboratory use by university students.
“This contribution came as such a great surprise and arrived at the perfect time,” said Dwayne Shaw, executive director of the Downeast Salmon Federation, in the press release. “We are very grateful to Gov. LePage for seeing the potential of our new community-based fisheries center in East Machias and the huge impact that this investment will make for recovery of Maine’s Endangered Atlantic salmon and other sea-run fish. Community based fisheries management is a win-win model. The Downeast Salmon Federation’s programs at the East Machias Aquatic Research Center are becoming a success story in the making.”
At the end of last year, the facility received more than 100,000 eggs from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and is expected to receive several more hundred thousand eggs over the next year and a half.
“I’m proud to support an organization that has proven itself successful in the construction of a valuable asset to our salmon, Maine’s waters and the local community,” said LePage.