Thursday, May 1, 2014

What do these cormorants and I have in common?

Cormorants below the Brunswick Hydro dam.  Maybe they're just getting together for a beer.

We're both waiting for alewives.  I'm signed up to count alewives at the Nequasset Fish Ladder, and all last month I was eagerly anticipating standing up on the fish ladder, in the warm spring sun, counting the little fishies as they struggled up the ladder.  It was going to be a sign that spring was underway and winter was over.

Well, that's not what's going on in Maine this year.  Not only were the spring peepers late; the birds reluctant; the plants slow to bud (it's still pretty brown here) -- the alewives are biding their time as well.  On Monday (the day of my scheduled gig at the ladder), I got an email saying no fish were in sight, so counting hasn't started.  Apparently, the fish usually arrive when the water temperature reaches 57, and we're only at 50.  Too cold for the sensibilities of a river herring.  That's okay, it's giving the Bath Water District time to fix up the ladder for them.

So, it'll be at least another week until I get to check out the ladder and enjoy one of the greatest migrations on earth.  Until then, the spring rainwater and snow melt will continue to roar over the Brunswick Hydro dam, and I'll keep anticipating spring.

The Brunswick fish ladder.  No fish here yet either.

This is a HUGE amount of water for these rapids.  All going to the Gulf of Maine -- bringing high productivity with it.

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