PO Box 51, Dresden, Maine 04342 info@alewifeharvesters.org 207-441-3006

Warren Fishery

Source: Maine ASMFC River Herring Sustainable Fishing Plan 

The Maine Department of Marine Resources manages this system for a commercial escapement of 35 fish per acre. The management plan has achieved returns to meet the target escapement developed for this system 95% of the time for the past 20-year period. The spawning escapement need for this system is 66,115 river herring passed upstream by a two-day closure of the fishery and a delay in deploying the weir until sometime after May 1 of the fishing year (Figure 26). Due to the size of the weir and spring flows in the river, deploying the weir and active fishing at this location typically does not occur until the second week of May.  This permits, during some years, a larger proportion of spawning stock upstream than typical fisheries. There are several individual and varied spawning habitats within the St. George Watershed that act to support the large river herring run, both blueback herring and alewife.

Warren is one of the oldest and most productive commercial fisheries in Maine. The State of Massachusetts granted Warren exclusive harvest rights in 1802. By 1869 there were 16 dams on the main stem of the St George River. The main stem river is now clear of manmade obstructions and most spawning habitat is now accessible to river herring.  There are portions of historic habitat that are still inaccessible in the upper watershed.  Dams at lake outlets without fish passage are the biggest obstacle to full restoration of the river.  There are blueback herring mixed in the commercial alewife catches toward the end of the season. Blueback herring continue to migrate upstream after the June 5 closing date.  The numbers of blueback herring in the system is estimated at 950,000 based on available spawning habitat.  There is no spawning habitat located below the town fishery for either species.