Benton, Maine, Celebrates Return of Alewives

Benton, Maine, Celebrates Return of Alewives
Photo/Middleboro-Lakeville Herring Fishery Commission

Kennebec Journal: In Benton [Maine], a small town on the banks of the Sebasticook River, there are 2 kinds of people: Those who have eaten alewives and those who have not.

The ranks of those who have tried the river fish have been growing for the past couple of years following the town’s efforts to reconnect its citizens with the flavor of a foot-long silver fish that used to be a local culinary staple. For the third year in a row, the town will host its annual Benton Alewife Festival, a celebration of the town’s historic rights to sustainably harvest a portion of the 2 million to 3 million fish that make their way up the river each year around mid-May to spawn. The historic runs were stymied for decades by dams and pollution, but dam removals and environmental and conservation efforts have recently cleared the way for the fish safely pass through Benton and other areas of Maine.

The fish may be back, but what about the public’s appetite for them?

Read more about the town of Benton, Maine, and its celebration of alewives.

For more information about the event on Saturday, May 17 go to the Benton Alewife Festival page on Facebook.