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Alewives are fish that spend most of their life at sea, but return to fresh water to spawn. The spawning instincts of alewives urge them into Maine rivers and streams. Benton has a festival each spring to celebrate the return of the alewives.
Alewife populations, like many others, have suffered sever decline, and so it is not in every river or stream that Mainers and tourists can watch the migratory progress of these fish. However, Damariscotta Mills, Maine has a fishing ladder that was constructed in the early 1800s, and then reconstructed in 2007 to aid the alewives in their endeavors. Information on the restoration project, as well as additional information about alewives can be found at .
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