Talking Fish-Heads

Nate Gray, DMR Fishery Biologist;
Doug Watts, River Activist and Author;
Ed Friedman, FOMB Moderator

Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 7:00pm
Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick

Nate Gray, DMR Fishery Biologist; Doug Watts, River Activist and Author;
Ed Friedman, FOMB Moderator

Friends of Merrymeeting Bay’s (FOMB) fifth presentation of their 20th annual Winter Speaker Series, Talking Fish-Heads, features Nate Gray, fishery biologist with the Department of Marine Resources and Doug Watts, fish expert, advocate and author in a discussion of migratory fish restoration efforts moderated by FOMB Chair, Ed Friedman. The event, takes place at Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, Wednesday February 8th at 7pm.

Merrymeeting Bay is the only body of water in Maine providing spawning and nursery habitat to all migratory fish species from the Gulf of Maine. These fish require fresh and salt water to complete their life cycles. Some of these fish are rare and endangered, some showing dramatic recoveries. Threats have ranged from overfishing to pollution and loss of habitat to turbine mortality. The evening’s three experts will discuss the cast of fish characters, laws and regulations governing the fish and rivers; restoration threats, past and present and successes, while also offering up possible solutions.

Nate Gray is project leader for the Kennebec Hydropower Developers Group (KHDG) program through the Maine Department of Marine Resources, Bureau of Sea Run Fisheries and Habitat. He is also on the Board of FOMB. Nate has worked extensively on the Kennebec River and its tributaries since 1992 and been involved in virtually all aspects of the restoration program. He witnessed the removal of Edwards Dam in Augusta in 1999 and has seen the populations of river herring rise from a hundred thousand to over three million with the installation of multiple fish passages and the opening of thousands of acres of historical habitat in the Kennebec drainage.

Doug Watts is an expert on Atlantic salmon and other migratory fish in Maine. He was a former newspaper reporter specializing in historical accounts and currently is a freelance writer, fishery consultant and river activist. Watts is President of Kennebec Reborn. Doug and his brother wrote the citizens ESA petition to protect the American eel and while the federal government found the petition to have scientific merit, they ultimately decided against listing the eel as an endangered species. Friends of Merrymeeting Bay continues to partner with Watts on state and federal efforts to protect American eel, Atlantic salmon and other migratory fish who are denied access to spawning habitat and or victims of turbine mortality.

FOMB hosts their Winter Speaker Series October-May, the second Wednesday of each month. The March 8th presentation, The King’s Broad Arrow: Maine’s Mast Trade features Harper Batsford from the Tate House Museum. This 7pm presentation will be at the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick. Speaker Series presentations are free, open to the public and supported by Patagonia, Inc. in Freeport. Visit to see speaker biographies, full event schedules, become a member, and learn more about how you can help protect beautiful Merrymeeting Bay.

Call Kathleen McGee, 666-3598


Watercolors by
Sarah Stapler