Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hurricanes, Salmon and Lobsters.

We survived Hurricane Irene by spending the night in a Wallmart parking lot with about 12 other RV’s.  We had high wind and rain but no damage.

The next day was bright and sunny and we found the Craig Brook national Fish Hatchery in East Orland, Maine, the oldest Atlantic Salmon hatchery in the United States. 
It has been recently redesigned to meet the need for sound science in fish culture.  Young salmon are captured each year in seven rivers and brought to the hatchery to be raised as parent fish.  Their offspring are raised separately by river population and released as fry into their parent’s home river. 

Using state-of-the-art technology, each salmon is genetically analyzed, tagged with a microchip and database tracked by computer.  This allows biologists to identify individuals, determine spawning partners, and preserve the unique genetic makeup of each river population.

Biologists release two million juvenile salmon each year to restore populations in Maine’s largest river, the Penobscot.  They also raise and release up to 1.5 million juvenile salmon in the six other rivers with endangered populations.

Biologists from all over the  world have come here to learn this new technology.  Unlike Pacific salmon, Atlantic salmon don’t usually die after spawning. They can return to the ocean where they journey to Greenland to feed for two or three years before returning to the same river where they were born four or five years earlier.

                           The museum is crammed with all kinds of fly fishing artifacts. 

Heading south to the town of  Wiscasset, we came upon Red’s Eats, a tiny red-and-white shack sitting beneath a Siberian Elm along the always snarled traffic on Route 1.

Open since 1938, it is almost universally recognized as serving the best lobster rolls on the Maine coast and the perpetual line of customers snaking out into the street testifies to that. 

You order at the walk-up window and then chow down at one of the tables on the back deck.

This gal offers free battered shrimp to customers while they wait in line to place their order.

More than one whole lobster is crammed on a toasted hot dog bun and served with melted butter and fries.

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