2015 Nequasset Fish Count

A Good Harvest and A Season of Navigating the Nuances of the New Ladder

The 2015 fish count collected valuable information about the number of fish that reached the lake.  It was also vital for monitoring how well the new fish ladder is working.   Thank you to everyone who helped out with this important fish count!

Observations from fish counters helped the project partners to identify the best water flow levels for the fish ladder and have helped to identify what changes need to take place before the 2016 alewife run.  Slightly fewer fish entered the lake this year than last year, but lower fish numbers were observed at a number of alewife runs across the state.

Below, you can see the data from this year.  You can also find a pdf file of notes from the 2015 Nequasset Alewife Run and Fish Ladder Review Meeting.  At this meeting, fish counters, Maine Department of Marine Resources staff, a project engineer from Wright Pierce, Bath Water District staff, and KELT staff discussed the 2015 alewife run and the characteristics of the new ladder.

The Numbers:


May 7 -June 8, 2015


1,449 bushels/ 173,880 fish

 Fish counted going over the dam


 Total fish over the dam, extrapolated


 Estimated Total Run


 # of volunteers


 % escapement


Highest 10 Minute Fish Count


2015 Count Updates:

May 1st: The fish are at the dam, so the count is officially starting!  The temperatures are still low and the water is high, so the numbers of fish that climb the ladder might be low for a few more days.

May 15th: The fish are climbing into the lake!  The largest count so far is 184 fish in 10 minutes.  There are some significant differences between the new fish ladder and the old one, and the Bath Water District is still trying to figure out the nuances of the new ladder so that it can be working as well as it possibly can to get the fish into Nequasset Lake. Any comments that you are able to share about your observations of the workings of the new ladder will be very helpful.

May 29th: Over the past week, fish have been seen going both up and down the ladder.  The fish that came early in the season are making their return trek to the Gulf of Maine, and the late arrivals are just now making their way up the ladder to the lake to spawn. Seeing fish going both ways can make counting complicated!  Please try to only count the fish that are entering the lake.

June 9th: The 2015 Fish Count is now done.

Notes From the 2015 Nequasset Alewife Run and Fish Ladder Review Meeting:

Click here to download a pdf file of the notes.

Some Graphs of the 2015 Fish Count Data:

Nequasset Fish Count 2015 presentation_Page_1 Nequasset Fish Count 2015 presentation_Page_2 Nequasset Fish Count 2015 presentation_Page_3 Nequasset Fish Count 2015 presentation_Page_4

 2015 Media:


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