EAST MACHIAS, Maine (WABI) Zach Sheller, Hatchery Manager said, “the salmon are critically endangered. They need our help to try to jump start the population."
Downeast Salmon Federation began its salmon fin clipping of over two hundred thousand juvenile fish.
The clips will help track the salmon that come from the Peter Gray Hatchery.
Sheller says, “we are raising fish a different way than hatchery has in the past. We use straight river water that's not filtered…we use dark tanks, we increase the velocity to make the fish stronger swimmers, we are trying to create little athletes!"
That’s why this hatchery in East Machias says awareness is so important.
Rachel Gorich, Assistant Hatchery Manager says, they need to be protected and what we are doing here helps us understand what else needs to be fixed.”
With Atlantic salmon on the endangered species list, a little help goes a long way.
Desaraye Beal said "I'm sort of nervous cause I don't want to clip their tails off."
But even with nerves, kids from Jobs for Maine Graduates were more than excited to help.
Beal said, “it's very nice to be able to help them. It can help them breed and some more generations can come in and help cut fins release little fishes."
When it's all said and done, teacher ReeAnna Bridges hopes this day makes a big difference.
She said,” they are going to take this lesson, we are going to go back and talk about how that hopefully changes them and their futures."
And what about the future for Atlantic salmon?
Gorcih said, “we have Atlantic salmon and they are hanging on by a thread. Let’s bring them back."
Courtney Cortright, WABI TV5 NEWS, East Machias.