Peter Gray Hatchery Stocking

The Peter Gray Parr Project, a program of the Downeast Salmon Federation, to stock over 100,000 "little athletes" this coming week.

In its 7th year of operation, the Peter Gray Hatchery, is scheduled to stock out the Atlantic salmon they have been raising since January.

After recently marking each individual fish with the help of hundreds of students and community members the fall parr, or "little athletes" as the hatchery name-sake Peter Gray liked to refer to them, are now ready to stock throughout the East Machias River's watershed.

The goal of the Peter Gray Parr Project is to raise endangered Atlantic salmon in a natural of way that creates a fit individual that acts like a wild fish. To accomplish this goal the Peter Gray Hatchery uses a variety of techniques that include utilizing unfiltered river water, increasing tank flows to exercise the fish, black tanks to keep the fish dark, and specially designed substrate incubation boxes that mimic salmon redds in the river.

Take home notes from the Peter Gray Parr Project to date include juvenile densities of salmon in the East Machias River not seen since the 1980's, the number of smolts headed to ocean quadrupled, and adult return percentages equal to or better than smolt to adult return percentages of wild fish on nearby rivers.

Ted WilliamsComment