The second annual Pennamaquan Alewife Festival took place in Pembroke, Maine, on May 20th. Organized across from Greenhorn Farms, the festival, in collaboration with the Downeast Salmon Federation, offered a wealth of educational and recreational activities for the community!

The Downeast Salmon Federation provided smoked alewives, which were prepared on-site in a food truck and served free of charge! Additionally, Smithereen Farms curated a buffet spread that included local fiddlehead ferns, fresh sourdough, and more. The festival’s program included educational talks by biologists Kristin Underwood and Mike Manning, offering insights into Washington county’s local ecosystems.

Additionally, Sue Van Hook presented on the MycoBuoys project, an innovative initiative that is a biologically compatible alternative to Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) buoys, and uses agricultural waste and fungal mycelium for its structure. This project symbolizes an important step toward environmental sustainability, particularly for aquaculturists aiming to replace plastic components in their gear with non-toxic materials. For Washington county, this stands as an excellent example of innovative entrepreneurship.

The event also had a dedicated set up for picnics and loaner bikes, provided by Mike’s Bikes. Attendees were encouraged to get their bikes and explore upstream to visit the Pennamaquan spawning grounds and connect with the Downeast Sunrise Trail!



Overall, the Pennamaquan Alewife Festival was more than a day of festivities—it was a community-wide celebration of the local environment and an important space for the discussion and promotion of fisheries conservation in Downeast Maine. Through its engaging mix of education, food, music, and outdoor activities, it not only brought the community together but also underscored the significance of understanding and preserving local ecosystems. 

Want to know more about Washington County’s Fisheries?

Visit: Downeast Fisheries Partnership or Downeast Salmon Federation